Updated Standards for Fall Protection Equipment

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Updated Standards for Fall Protection Equipment

More than two years after approval, and following two deadline extensions, the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) revisions for fall protection officially took effect on August 1st. The new ANSI Z359.14-2021 standard, which updates the Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices (SRDs), now applies to all SRDs that are used in jobs requiring protection against falls from heights. In order to be ANSI compliant, any SRD manufactured after August 1st must conform to this updated standard.

 A private nonprofit, ANSI develops product and other standards that promote safety, and ensure reliability and consistency. Unlike OSHA standards, which employers are legally required to follow, ANSI standards are voluntary. However, there is a strong incentive to use fall arrest systems and products that are ANSI compliant, since they can help employers meet OSHA requirements and increase employee safety.  

 The new ANSI standard updates SRD types and classes, increases SRD testing requirements, and adds required safety warnings. For details about these changes, Industrial Supply’s vendor partner, 3M, has created an excellent technical bulletin for employers, safety personnel, system designers, and equipment users. As 3M notes, a business may remain ANSI compliant even if they are using SRDs manufactured to previous revisions of the ANSI Z359.14 standard, as long as those devices were made before August 1, 2023 and they continue to meet inspection requirements.

 The revisions made to ANSI’s SRD standard address a very real problem. Year after year, falls remain the number one cause of on-the-job fatalities in the construction industry, and OSHA’s fall protection is consistently number one on the list of that agency’s most frequently cited standards. Anything that can be done to make SRDs easier and safer to use will save lives and prevent serious injuries.

 It can be hard to keep track of changing safety standards. Industrial Supply is there to help you stay up to date and keep your employees safe. From workplace safety assessments to a full range of customizable on-site fall protection trainings, we can help your business remain compliant with today’s safety guidelines. To learn more about our safety services, please contact our Safety Specialist, Tyler Whipple, at (801) 913-1720 or twhipple@indsupply.com.

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