Year after year, fall protection tops OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited violations. This threat is more than a workplace blunder, however, as falls comprise over 20% of all workplace fatalities in the United States. Instilling security for the workers who operate at heights literally saves lives. Rigorous testing plays a major role in this, as seen with self-retracting devices, which are assured reliability by withstanding, without breaking, a load of 3,600 lbs (16kN). This and similar requirements are contained in ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021: Safety Requirements For Self-Retracting Devices For Personal Fall Arrest And Rescue Systems.
What are Self-Retracting Devices?
According to ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021, self-retracting devices (SRDs) make use of a drum wound line that not only automatically locks to arrest the user at the onset of a fall but also pays out from and automatically retracts the wearer onto the drum.
One major form of SRDs are self-retracting lanyards (SRLs). These mechanical fall arresters feature a locking mechanism and energy management system. In addition to arresting the fall of the user, this design limits the forces imparted onto the user.
A self-retracting lanyard, personal (SRL-P) is worn by the user on a full-body harness to be used as a fall arrest connector.
A self-retracting lanyard with integral rescue capability (SRL-R) includes an integral means for assisted rescue via raising or lowering the rescue subject.
The ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021 American National Standard applies to these three forms, as well as hybrid combinations of these.
About ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021
The ANSI/ASSP Z359.14 standard first emerged in 2007, at the time drawing upon requirements for self-retracting lanyards previously contained in ANSI/ASSP Z359.1-1992 and ANSI/ASSP Z359.1-2007, with additional requirements developed for devices of different types.
The current edition of the standard, ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021, sets requirements for the performance, design, qualification testing, markings and instructions, inspections, maintenance and storage, and removal from service of self-retracting devices (this includes SRLs, SRL-Rs, and SRL-Ps). The requirements are intended for self-retracting devices used in personal fall arrest and rescue systems for authorized users between 130 and 310 lbs (59-141 kg).
This standard is applicable to manufacturers, distributors, and purchasers of self-retracting devices that provide fall protection safety for workers, as well as the authorized persons who use them.
ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021: Safety Requirements For Self-Retracting Devices For Personal Fall Arrest And Rescue Systems is available on the ANSI Webstore. It and many other essential fall protection American National Standards are available together at a discount as the ANSI/ASSE Z359 Fall Protection and Arrest Standards Package.