One of the latest and most anticipated changes to occur this year relevant to fall protection is the publishing of the ANSI/ASSP Z359.14 2021 revision. Although the effective date isn’t until August 2022, this change is prompting the need for end user to prepare for using and understanding the new terminology performance requirements that will ultimately alter equipment selection criteria.
The reason for its relevance is mostly due to its industry dependence and the increasing popularity of these types of devices. This voluntary consensus standard accounts for a vast portion of the fall protection market equipment and has been adopted as the industry standard, even though it is not the legal requirement. To assure a smooth transition, the immediate priority should be to understand the changes and what it means from a usability standpoint. A clear understanding of what changes devices need to comply will allow users to proceed with a comprehensive transition plan.
What Are the Most Relevant Changes for the User?
The most significant changes are for Class A and B devices used to designate arrest distances and forces and the introduction of the Class 1 and 2 devices. These classes were known as designators for arresting falls at 24 inches and under with higher forces (Class A), and 54 inches and under with lower forces (Class B). Class 1 devices allow anchoring on overhead anchorages only and limitg freefall to no more than two feet.
Reprinted courtesy of Andre Pelland, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.