A New Era for an Old Standard A Review of Changes to ANSI Z (R1999)

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1 Capital Safety - USA 3833 SALA Way Red Wing, MN Ph: Fax: A New Era for an Old Standard A Review of Changes to ANSI Z (R1999) I. Introduction A new era is in the making for fall protection and the related industries that make use of the equipment. The American National Standards Committee on Standards for Fall Protection has approved a series of significant changes to the ANSI Z359.1 fall protection standard. The changes have altered the standard from its previous state, addressing only fall arrest equipment, to a more encompassing standard that addresses managed fall protection programs, work positioning and work restraint systems and rescue equipment. An additional part of the standard also address definitions. The original standard, as written in 1992 and revised in 1999, was intended to be the first in a series of standards to address a comprehensive fall protection program. Only now have the remaining items in the series, those addressing equipment and programs outside the realm of fall arrest, come to fruition. The intent of this review is to provide the reader with an understanding of the changes to the standard and how they will affect general industry. II. History of the standard ANSI Z359.1 was originally published in 1992 to address technological advances in fall arrest equipment that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. Fall protection equipment and programs advanced rapidly, outpacing preexisting national standards and government regulations. Several industry specific standards did exist, but most of them were considered outdated. To that end, the United States Technical Advisory Group (USTAG) representing national fall protection issues to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) formed a committee to address the lack of fall protection standards, as recommended by the American National Standards Institute s Safety and Health Standards Board. The committee drafted and voted on the Z359.1 standard and the American Society of Safety Engineers became the secretariat. The standard applied only to fall arrest equipment in occupational and non-occupational activities, with the exception of the construction industry, which has its own standards. 1 The standard addressed fall arrest equipment including harnesses, lifelines, lanyards, energy absorbers and anchorage connectors and elements of the equipment including rope, straps, thread, thimbles and connectors. III. Changes to the Fall Protection Standard The primary change to the existing ANSI Z359.1 fall protection standard is significant, but will not have overwhelming ramifications for manufacturers, employers and users of fall protection equipment. 1 See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, Page

2 The one standard that was previously in existence, Z359.1, was expanded to encompass a family of related standards. The new standards are: ANSI Z359.0: Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest ANSI Z359.1: Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components ANSI Z359.2: Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program ANSI Z359.3: Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems ANSI Z359.4: Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components An explanation of each new standard and key revisions to the existing Z359.1 follows. IV. ANSI Z359.0 ANSI Z359.0 addresses terminology used throughout the Z359 standards. This standard is divided into three sections: 2 1. Scope, Purpose, Application, Exceptions and Interpretations 2. Definitions 3. List of Acronyms This standard is derived from the original ANSI Z359.1, Section 2. The definitions have become a separate standard for ease of reference throughout the new ANSI Z359.1, Z359.2, Z359.3 and Z359.4 standards. The definitions included in this standard have been rounded out from the original list of terminology to address advances in equipment technology. V. ANSI Z359.1 Several important changes were made to the existing standard focusing on fall arrest equipment. First, the definitions section of the original standard was removed. The definitions appear in a section devoted solely to terminology, Z359.0 (see information under ANSI Z359.0 header for additional details). 3 The second, and most important change due to its implications for equipment manufacturers, employers and users, is the increase of gate hook strength requirements for snap hooks and carabiners. To summarize, the changes have increased the load that a gate face must withstand from 220 pounds to 3,600 pounds; the side of the gate must withstand 3,600 pounds, increased from 350 pounds; and the minor axis of non-captive eye snap hooks or carabiners must withstand 3,600 pounds, which is new to the Z359.1 standard. The tensile load that the snap hook or carabiner must be able to withstand will remain at 5,000 pounds. 4 2 See Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protections and Fall Arrest, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 7. 3 See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 9. 4 See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page

3 For a detailed analysis of this change and the effects it will have on the groups mentioned above, please refer to Capital Safety s paper, Hooked on Safety: A Review of Changes to ANSI Z (R1999) With Emphasis on Section Another important change is the addition of requirements and markings for harnesses equipped with a front-mounted attachment, or D-ring, element. According to Tom Wolner, Vice President of Engineering with Capital Safety, prior to the addition of the D-ring for use on fall arrest equipment, limitations of the previous standard only allowed the frontal D-ring to be used for ladder climbing, fall restraint and work positioning. The addition of the D-ring element for use in fall arrest is detailed in section a of the standard: 5 Harnesses equipped with a front-mounted attachment element for fall arrest shall be used only as part of a personal fall arrest system that limits the maximum free fall distance to two feet (0.6m) and limits the maximum arrest force to 900 pounds (4.0kN). An explanation of the front-mounted attachment element is also provided. 6 The fall protection front D-ring attachment chest location shall be within the sternum (breastbone) area of the body. The front D-ring attachment is intended for the use in rescue, work position, rope access, and other ANSI Z359.1 recognized applications where the design of the systems is such that only a limited free fall of two feet is permitted. The new Z359.1 standard details the strength and performance testing requirements for the frontal D-ring element in sections a and a. 7 In addition to the frontal D-ring, the changes also address twin-leg lanyards, another element that is completely new to the standard. An explanation is provided in section a: 8 Lanyards with two, integrally connected legs shall have a minimum of 5,000 pounds (22.2kN) breaking strength when statically tested in accordance with Twin-leg lanyards must also be marked with several warnings regarding use. These warnings include: 9 Connect only the center snap hook to the fall arrest attachment element Do not attach the leg of the lanyard which is not in use to the harness except to attachment points specifically designated by the manufacturer for this purpose Do not rig the lanyard to create more than a six foot free fall Do not allow the legs of the lanyard to pass under arms, between legs or around the neck 5 See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 56. 3

4 Other changes include a revision of the load that anchorages must bear, and several additions to the Equipment Rigging and Use section (7.2) and Training section (7.3). The load that an anchorage must withstand has been changed from 3,600 pounds when certification exists to two times the maximum arrest force permitted on the system when certification exists. 10 Additions to the Equipment Rigging and Use section include requirements that harnesses and fall arrest systems be selected and properly sized for the user; connectors, snap hooks and carabiners must be compatible with the equipment they are used with; knots must not be tied in lanyards, lifelines or anchorage connectors; and anchorage connectors and vertical lifelines should be kept clear of workplace and environmental hazards. 11 Additions to the Training section include provisions that training address how to select, inspect and use fall protection equipment; training methods and language; and assessments of trainers. 12 Some minor editorial revisions have also been made. Straps, rope and webbing used in fall arrest equipment must be made from synthetic materials on continuous filament yarns made from light and heat resistant fibers. 13 The standard formerly required these elements to be made of simply virgin synthetic material. 14 The term user has been clarified throughout the standard with the terms competent person, qualified person and authorized person. 15 VI. ANSI Z359.2 Z359.2 addresses how to organize and manage a fall protection program. According to the standard, a fall protection program is required whenever one or more people are routinely exposed to fall hazards. 16 This is a completely new section to the Z359 standard, with sections arranged as follows: Scope, Purpose, Applications, Exceptions, and Interpretations 2. Definitions 3. Policies, Duties and Training 4. Fall Protection Procedures 5. Eliminating and Controlling Fall Hazards 6. Rescue Procedures 7. Incident Investigations 8. Evaluating Program Effectiveness 9. References 10. Figures 10 See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest System, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, Page See Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 7. 4

5 The purpose of this new standard is as follows: 18 Developing and implementing a comprehensive managed fall protection program is the most effective method to identify, evaluate, and eliminate (or control) fall hazards through planning; ensure proper training of personnel exposed to fall hazards; ensure proper installation and use of fall protection and rescue systems; and implement safe fall protection and rescue procedures. Duties and responsibilities for each person associated with the fall protection program are laid out in section 3. They include: 19 Employers: Employers are responsible for drafting a policy statement that includes goals and guidance for a managed fall protection program. Employers are required to appoint a program administrator, eliminate or control fall hazards, develop and maintain fall protection and rescue procedures and provide fall protection equipment, knowledge and training. Program Administrator: The program administrator is responsible for developing, implementing, maintaining and evaluating the fall protection program. Responsibilities include providing guidance to all others involved with the program, establishing a procedure to identify fall hazards, developing protection and rescue procedures, providing training and participating in incident investigations. Qualified Person: The qualified person supervises the design, selection, installation and inspection of fall protection equipment and participates in investigations of incidents. Competent Person: The competent person is the immediate supervisor of the fall protection program. Responsibilities include conducting fall hazard surveys, identifying potential hazards and stopping or limiting work at the hazard site, supervising selection and use of equipment, verifying that equipment is compliant and workers are trained, participating in investigations, conducting equipment inspections and removing damaged equipment from service. Authorized Person: The authorized person is the primary user of fall protection equipment. Responsibilities include alerting others of potentially hazardous conditions and proper inspection, use, maintenance and storage of equipment. Competent Rescuer: Responsibilities of the competent rescuer include developing rescue procedures, verifying that rescuers are adequately trained, verifying that rescue equipment is protected from damage and evaluating rescue procedures and equipment. Authorized Rescuer: The authorized rescuer is the primary user of rescue equipment. Responsibilities include identifying hazards in the workplace where a rescue may occur, verifying that rescue procedures are in place and inspecting rescue equipment. Qualified Person Trainer, Competent Person Trainer and Competent Rescuer Trainer: Trainers must be knowledgeable in standards, regulations, equipment and systems for fall protection and rescue and must evaluate the knowledge and skills of those they train. A key element of this standard addresses the preparation and implementation of fall protection procedures based on the results of a fall hazard survey report. The survey report identifies methods to eliminate or control each fall hazard. Fall protection procedures identify all fall arrest equipment, work positioning and travel restraint systems that will be used as well as instructions to assemble, inspect, operate and dismantle the equipment; and clearance requirements for the system and limitations on use See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page

6 The standard also lays out the preferred hierarchy for fall protection. In decreasing order of preference, fall protection should be addressed by: Elimination or Substitution: Removal of the fall hazard. 2. Passive Fall Protection: Isolation of the hazard from workers. 3. Fall Restraint: Connection of the worker to an anchorage, preventing the worker from reaching the fall hazard. 4. Fall Arrest: Connection of the worker to a system designed to stop a fall after it has begun. 5. Administrative Controls: Work practices or procedures designed to warn a worker before he or she approaches a fall hazard. Several important topics are addressed in ANSI Z As an integral part of the fall protection program, training is addressed in depth. The standard references and requires compliance with ANSI Z490.1, Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training. 22 The standard also includes a provision that facilities under construction consider fall hazards in the design stage. The preferred order of controlling fall hazards must follow the hierarchy addressed above. If a fall hazard cannot be eliminated, the facility must provide anchorage locations for fall protection. 23 An extensive section on anchorage systems for fall protection compiles all the requirements for fall arrest, work positioning, restraint and travel systems, horizontal lifelines and rescue systems. For fall arrest systems, anchorages must withstand a static load of 5,000 pounds (22.2kN) for noncertified anchorages or two-times the maximum arresting force for certified anchorages. For work positioning systems, anchorages must withstand a static load of 3,000 pounds (13.3kN) for noncertified anchorages or two-times the foreseeable force for certified anchorages. For travel restraint systems, anchorages must withstand a static load of 1,000 pounds (4.5kN) for noncertified anchorages or two-times the foreseeable force for certified anchorages. For horizontal lifeline systems, anchorages must withstand at least two-times the maximum tension developed in the lifeline during fall arrest in the direction applied by the lifeline forces. Anchorages for rescue systems must withstand a static load of 3,000 pounds (13.3kN) for non-certified anchorages or five-times the applied load for certified anchorages. 24 According to the definitions section, a certified anchorage is an anchorage for fall arrest, positioning, restraint, or rescue systems that a qualified person certifies to be capable of supporting the potential fall forces that could be encountered during a fall or that meet the criteria for a certified anchorage prescribed in this standard. 25 A non-certified anchorage is a fall arrest anchorage that a competent person can judge to be capable of supporting the predetermined anchorage forces as prescribed in this standard See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 22. 6

7 This standard requires daily inspections of fall protection equipment and anchorages by the authorized person, or user of the equipment, as well as yearly inspection by a qualified person, competent person or competent rescuer. In performing the inspection, items to verify include the presence and legibility of markings and tags, presence of all integral components of the equipment and absence of defects and damage. 27 Rope access, rescue procedures, incident investigations and evaluation of program effectiveness are also detailed. The inclusion of rope access in the standard is a first. The standard requires evaluation of the area where rope access is to be used and that the system be used with a working line, a safety line and a full-body harness. Furthermore, proper maintenance and inspection procedures and requirements for rope material are included. Maximum fall distance for rope access, when connected to the dorsal D-ring of a harness, is six feet and the maximum arresting force is 1,800 pounds (8kN). 28 Highlights of the section on rescue procedures include the provision that if emergency services are not able to answer a request for assistance in a timely manner or if they do not have adequate equipment, then companies should have in-house rescue procedures and trained personnel in place. Program effectiveness should be evaluated at regular intervals of no more than two years, and of course, whenever an accident occurs, the incident must be thoroughly investigated and documented promptly. 29 VII. ANSI Z359.3 ANSI Z359.3 addresses work positioning and travel restraint systems. A work positioning system allows a worker to access a vertical work area. These systems are used in tandem with a fall protection system, covered by the guidelines of ANSI Z A travel restraint system prohibits a worker at heights from moving into an area where a fall hazard is present. Travel restraint systems, according to the new standard, are only to be used in areas that have a slope between zero and 18.4 degrees. 31 The standard covers design requirements for workers using positioning or travel restraint devices who weigh between 130 and 310 pounds and does not address any descent or motorized devices that attach to either system. 32 The standard is divided into five sections: 1. Scope, Purpose, Application, Exceptions, and Interpretations 2. Definitions 3. Design Requirements 4. Qualification Testing 5. Marking Instructions 27 See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 8. 7

8 Lanyards for positioning and travel restraint systems must be constructed with virgin synthetic material having strength, aging, abrasion resistance and heat resistance equivalent or superior to polyamides. The lanyards, as well as harnesses for positioning systems, must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2kN). 33 In terms of hardware for travel restraint and positioning systems, buckles and adjusters must withstand a 4,000 pound tensile force without breaking. D-rings, O-rings and oval rings used in load-bearing components must withstand a 5,000 pound tensile force without breaking. These parts, as well as snap hooks and carabiners must comply with the requirements laid out in ANSI Z VIII. ANSI Z359.4 ANSI Z359.4 is the new standard that addresses safety requirements for rescue systems. The standard covers: 35 requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, use, maintenance and removal from service of connectors, winches/hoists, descent control devices, rope tackle blocks, and self-retracting lanyards with integral rescue capability comprising rescue systems, utilized in pre-planned self-rescue and assisted-rescue applications for 1-2 persons. The standard is divided into the following sections: Scope, Purpose, Application, Exceptions and Interpretations 2. Definitions 3. Requirements 4. Qualification Testing 5. Marking and Instructions 6. Inspection, Maintenance and Storage of Equipment 7. Equipment Selection, Rigging, Use and Training 8. References The first item addressed is general system requirements. A oneperson rescue system must withstand a load of 130 to 310 pounds, while a two-person rescue system must withstand a load of 130 to 620 pounds. Hardware elements of the systems must meet the requirements of Z359.1, as must body support components, including full-body harnesses. An evacuation harness is also an appropriate body support component, but since it is only used for rescue, it is not addressed by Z The back attachment element of a full-body harness is suitable for rescue, unless prohibited by the manufacturer. The rescue attachment element of the harness must withstand a static load of 3,600 pounds as well as a dynamic test consisting of a 2 foot free-fall with a 220 pound test weight. 33 See Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page 7. 8

9 An evacuation harness must, at the minimum, support the body weight of the rescue subject, whether conscious or unconscious. The evacuation harness must withstand static and dynamic loads applied to the rescue attachment element. 37 Rescue lanyards, hardware and rescue anchorage connectors are mentioned briefly. They must comply with the requirements of ANSI Z Self-retracting lanyard components with integral rescue capability (RSRL) must also comply with Z359.1, but this section provides a bit more detail on the operation and function of such devices. Requirements of the RSRL include the following: 38 Must engage into rescue mode at any time, and must not be able to inadvertently change to or from rescue mode. Must raise or lower the load with a minimum 3:1 mechanical advantage. Must automatically stop and hold the load if the rescuer relinquishes control whilst in rescue mode. Must have a means to stabilize the device during use in rescue mode. Devices with a powered operation must have a means to limit lifting force and speed as well as a manual back-up mode of operation. Must be able to support a static load of 3,100 pounds. Must stop load, when operating control is released, within four inches of travel. Must raise, lower and hold a load equal to 125% of maximum capacity and 75% of minimum capacity. Requirements for synthetic rope tackle blocks are detailed as follows: 39 Rope must be made of virgin synthetic material with strength, aging, abrasion resistance and heat resistance characteristics and must have a minimum breaking strength of 4,500 pounds. Must have a secondary means to prevent uncontrolled lowering of the load, which must stop the load within 12 inches when operating control is released. Must have a minimum mechanical advantage of 3:1. Must withstand a static load of 3,100 pounds. Must withstand a dynamic strength test consisting of a 2 foot free-fall with a 220 pound test weight and maintain functionality. Must raise, lower and hold a load equal to 125% of maximum capacity and 75% of minimum capacity. 37 See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page

10 Requirements for descent devices include: 40 Capacity of 310 pounds. Descent devices for single use must have a minimum descent energy rating of 30,000 feet/pound. Descent devices for multiple uses must have a minimum descent energy rating of 300,000 feet/pound. Maximum descent speed for manual, hand-operated and automatic descent control devices is 6.6 feet/second. Minimum speed for automatic descent control devices is 1.6 feet/second. Must withstand a static load of 2,700 pounds. Must withstand a dynamic strength test consisting of a 2 foot free-fall with a 220 pound test weight and maintain functionality. Synthetic rope and webbing must be made of virgin synthetic material with strength, aging, abrasion resistance and heat resistance characteristics and must have a minimum breaking strength of 3,000 pounds. Wire rope must be made of stainless or galvanized steel and have a minimum breaking strength of 3,000 pounds. Must be capable of stopping descent if operator control is released or if excessive application of the control device is applied. Finally, personnel hoists are detailed. Requirements of these systems include the following: 41 Capacity of 310 pounds for raising and lowering one person or 620 pounds for raising and lowering two persons. Must automatically stop and hold the load if the operator relinquishes control. If the device is operated from a power source, a backup manual source must be provided. Applied force must be limited to 150% of maximum capacity. Maximum rate of lowering must be 6.6 feet/second. Must withstand a static load of 3,100 pounds (where the hoist line connects with the winding drum), as well as a static load equal to four times the maximum capacity of the hoist. The maximum force to raise or lower the load is 30 pounds. A secondary brake must be provided that stops the load within 24 inches if the primary brake is disabled. Synthetic rope and webbing must be made of virgin synthetic material with strength, aging, abrasion resistance and heat resistance characteristics and must have a minimum breaking strength of 4,500 pounds. Wire rope must be made of stainless or galvanized steel and have a minimum breaking strength of 3,400 pounds. The standard also details methods for equipment testing and training; requirements for inspection, maintenance and storage, including the provision that the equipment be inspected prior to each use and on an annual basis by a competent person; and requirements for marking and instructions. Markings generally include part number and model, year of manufacture, manufacturer s name or logo and contact information, capacity range, an indication of compliance with the standard, a warning to follow the manufacturer s instructions and inspection guidelines. 40 See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page

11 Additional markings, depending on the equipment, include rope length, donning instructions, hazards to avoid, coupling methods, size and fibers used. Similar to ANSI Z359.1, this standard requires the rescuer to assess workplace conditions where rescue equipment may be required prior to selecting a rescue system. Equipment selection must be based on compatibility with other fall protection equipment as well as hazards and anchorages that are present in the environment. 42 IX. Value and Challenges of the Expanded Fall Protection Standard The expansion of the fall protection standard from one section, ANSI Z359.1, to five sections will create a much more comprehensive standard, explains Tom Wolner. More workers will be protected upon compliance with the standards, which, optimistically, will translate into fewer worker accidents and fatalities. Each revision and addition adds value to the original standard. The addition of a section devoted specifically to fall protection programs will help create clear roles and responsibilities. Prior to the publication of this update, nothing was available that outlined what a program should consist of. The creation of this section will assist companies that are beginning to form programs by detailing items to address and who should be responsible for each piece of the program. In 1992, when the original standard was written, positioning and travel restraint systems were widely used in the construction industry. Since this sector is covered by another standard, the need was not as immediate as it was for a baseline fall protection standard. Workers in the utilities and tower climbing fields are using this equipment much more today than 15 years ago, hence the need to make sure general industry was covered by a standard. The addition of this section to the standard ensures that workers will be protected by compliant equipment. The same is true for rescue systems. Rescue gear was not widely used in the early 1990s, and of course, technology has developed since then, creating the need for a standard that details requirements for these devices. An essential part of any fall protection plan is a rescue plan. The addition of this standard ensures that equipment used to rescue workers after a fall event is just as protective as the fall arrest equipment itself. These changes outlined in these new standards will not happen overnight. It will take time for companies, both large and small, to review, understand and educate workers on the requirements set forth in this family of standards. The standards were designed with the idea that companies would recognize the inherent value of keeping their workers safe and would develop comprehensive programs surrounding the standards. The outlook is that the standards will drive higher rates of compliance because the added details provide a better understanding of how to select and use equipment to keep workers safe in all types of work environments. Increasing compliance by as little as one percentage point will protect thousands of workers and could potentially save hundreds of lives. As the only manufacturer dedicated solely to fall protection equipment, Capital Safety invests heavily in developing products that meet and exceed compliance standards. The company works tirelessly to ensure the safety of workers exposed to fall hazards by leading the industry in equipment innovations. 42 See Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components, American National Standard. American Society of Safety Engineers, September, Page

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