Standards-writing committees are chartered by ANSI to develop certain standard practices and procedures for American industry. In order to create their safety standards, the ANSI issues a public invitation to form a committee of members representative of those specific industries which may be affected by the standards they shall develop. Committee members are recruited from general industry, government (e.g. representatives from OSHA), labor unions, liability insurance carriers and legal advisors. The Independent Committee, once approved by ANSI, is chartered to author a specific set of practical policy guidelines for the engineering, manufacture, testing and usage procedures of the products in question.
ANSI does not regulate or enforce any laws or regulations — ANSI merely recommends policies to general industry and governmental regulatory agencies. Once an ANSI committee issues its recommendations, ANSI must review the recommendation prior to issuing the safety standard. The ramifications of implementation of the standards issued by ANSI are typically weighed by those industries and governmental regulatory agencies which are affected by the standards. With regard to ANSI Standards involving significant safety issues, new laws are typically written soon after the introduction of revised ANSI Standards.
ANSI/ASSE Z359 Fall Protection Code
In 1988, the ANSI Z359 Fall Protection Committee was chartered to develop the first consensus standard. In 1992, ANSI Z359.1 – Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Systems and Components was published. It was developed to provide standard safety requirements for personal fall arrest systems, subsystems, and components. The purpose of these ANSI safety standards was to provide guidance in regards to the design of fall protection systems and the variety of equipment used in the industry. The standard was revised in 2007 in conjunction with American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). ANSI and ASSE have continued to work together with other industry leaders and government agencies to keep the standard of fall protection updated. The standard is constantly evolving and has added separate sections to address different parts of the Fall Protection Code. The following are a list of the current sections:
ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2007 – Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Systems and Components
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal from service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines, and self-retracting lanyards comprising personal fall arrest systems for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds (59-140 kg).
ANSI/ASSE Z359.2-2007 – Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
This standard establishes guidelines and requirements for an employer’s managed fall protection program, including policies duties and training; fall protection procedures; eliminating and controlling fall hazards; rescue procedures; incident investigations; ad evaluating program effectiveness. In addition this standard is for use by organizations where employees are exposed to fall hazards.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.3-2007 – Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, test methods, and instructions of lanyards and harnesses comprising personal positioning and travel restraint systems for authorized persons within the capacity range of 130 pounds to 310 pounds (59kg to 140kg).
ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2007 – Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, use, maintenance, and removal from service of connectors, harnesses, lanyards, anchorage 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 one to two persons.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.6-2007 – Specifications and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems
This standard is intended for engineers with expertise in designing fall-protection systems. It specifies requirements for the design and performance of complete active fall-protection systems, including travel-restraint and vertical and horizontal fall-arrest systems. The intention is to provide design criteria for routine use and not to provide specific criteria for infrequently encountered problems which occur.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.7-2011 – Specifications and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems
This standard establishes requirements for certification of ANSI Z359 Code of fall protection products and components as well as requirements for third-party testing, witness testing and manufacturer self certification of fall protection products and components to the requirements of the ANSI Z359 Code of standards.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009 – Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest System
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking,
qualification, test methods and removal from service of connectors. The following are the key changes from ANSI/SSE z359.1-2007: Test loads were decreased for buckles and adjusters to align with International standards, Dynamic strength testing was added for snap-hooks and carabiners, abrasion testing and weather conditions was added, does not limit materials and processes when manufacturing connectors.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.13-2009 – Personal Energy Absorbers and Energy Absorbing Lanyards
This standard establishes requirements for the performance,
design, marking, qualification, instructions, inspection, maintenance and removal from service of energy absorbing lanyards and personal energy absorbers. Note that horizontal lifelines are outside the scope of this standard.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 – Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices For Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems
This standard establishes requirements for performance, design, qualification testing, marking and instructions, inspection, maintenance and storage, and removal from service of self-retracting devices including self-retracting lanyards (SRL’s), self-retracting lanyards with integral rescue capability (SRL-R’s), and self-retracting lanyards with leading edge capability (SRL-LE’s), comprising personal fall arrest or rescue systems.
Section 8.1 Inspection and Testing
Anchors shall be tested prior to use by the window cleaners. Portable support equipment shall be tested in the shop or on the building’s roof. A registered professional engineer shall prescribe a test procedure and shall certify its results. Before each use the equipment must be visually inspected by a competent person. Inspections of windows anchors shall be conducted at a minimum annually.
Section 9.1 Anchorage Design Criteria
The minimum load for anchors is 5000 lbs or a minimum safety factor of 4-to-1, whichever is greater. Anchors also need to be inspected annually and certified or re-certified every ten years under the supervision of a registered professional engineer.
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