The ANSI/ASSE Z359.14, "Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems," is now available for purchase. The new standard released by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) joins the family of fall protection standards that comprise the Z359 Fall Protection Code.
The Z359.14 standard establishes requirements for performance, design, qualification testing, markings and instructions, inspections, maintenance and storage and removal from service of self-retracting devices. Types of self-retracting devices covered in this standard includes self-retracting lanyards, self-retracting lanyards with integral rescue capability, and self-retracting lanyards with leading edge capability.
The new standard sets out two classifications for self-retracting devices according to dynamic performance: Class A for maximum arrest distances of 24 inches (610mm) and Class B for maximum arrest distances of 54 inches (1,372mm). Class A devices will arrest a fall in less than two feet, which is important when fall clearance is limited. For Class A devices, the average arrest force must not exceed 1,350 pounds (6kN) or a maximum peak force of 1,800 pounds (8kN). For Class B devices, the average arrest force must not exceed 900 pounds (4kN) or a maximum peak of 1,800 pounds (8kN). Average arrest forces are calculated by averaging every data point over 500 pounds (2.22kN) during the arrest period of the self-retracting device on the force/time graph.
Additionally, the standard addresses applications where sharp edges may be a concern.Test methods for Leading Edge SRL devices (or SRLs designed for horizontal use) are specified in this standard. For the first time, manufacturers are required to perform special testing to evaluate the performance of self-retracting devices with leading edge capability. Additional marking requirements for self-retracting lanyards with leading edge capability are also specified and include: minimum installation setback distance and clearance required when falling over the edge. Several factors should be considered when determining fall clearance, including the anchorage type and location, worker height, arrest distance and a clearance safety factor.
Rescue planning is an important aspect of a comprehensive fall protection program. Specifications for post-fall arrest testing of self-retracing lanyards with integral rescue capability (also known as retrieval self-retracting lifelines) are also outlined in the Z359.14 standard. Qualification testing of SRLs with rescue capabilities includes function testing, static strength and dynamic performance testing. Instruction and warning requirements for retrieval self-retracing lifelines are also provided. Guidelines for periodic inspection of self-retracting lifelines are also provided.
It should be noted that the new standard supersedes any corresponding requirements in the ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2007 (Sections 3.2.8, 4.3.7, 5.2.8 and 5.4.8) and ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2007 American National Standard (Sections 3.2.5, 4.3.2, 5.2.6, 5.4.6). Integral components must meet requirements outlined in the Z359.12, Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest Systems.
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