Employers, workers and health and safety professionals rely on standards every day to provide dependable protection for workers who are exposed to an ever-changing range of hazards in the workplace. Integrating updates to such standards remains an essential component in any safety program but can be challenging for those driving compliance within their company.
The ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 Self-Retracting Devices (SRDs) for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems, a standard encompassing the performance, design, qualification testing, markings, instructions, inspections, maintenance, storage and removal from service for SRDs has recently been updated and may require your immediate attention.
Z359.14 establishes new requirements for inspection of SRDs intended for use in personal fall arrest or rescue systems for authorized workers within the range of 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 141 kilograms), and applies to the manufacturers, distributors, purchasers and authorized individuals who use such equipment.
User inspection and maintenance
The new standard focuses on requirements for more frequent and formal inspections by users, manufacturer-authorized distributors, repair centers and others. Detailed SRD inspection requirements will be identified in the instruction manuals provided with each product. At a minimum, this equipment must be inspected annually by a certified “Competent Person” and must comply with the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the inspection, maintenance, storage and removal from service.
On the jobsite, equipment must be inspected prior to each use by the user of the product. Additionally, equipment should undergo periodic factory authorized inspections and criteria should be kept current in relation to changing patterns or conditions of use as outlined in the chart above.
Documentation of inspections must be maintained by the program administrator. This should include, at a minimum, the type of equipment, inspection date, name of the person conducting the inspection and the results of the inspection. When an inspection reveals defects, damage, inadequate maintenance, activated stress indicators or activated warning devices, the equipment must be permanently removed from service or undergo corrective maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Finally, if the equipment has arrested a fall, it must be removed from service, tagged as “UNUSABLE” and either disposed of or serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
While inspection is the main requirement to be aware of when using fall arrest systems, the points here are not comprehensive. The full copy of the ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 standard can be purchased from the ANSI standards store at www.webstore.ansi.org.
An MSA fall protection specialist can provide a consultation or audit of your company’s existing fall protection products — free of charge. Please call (800) MSA-9010 [672-9010] to schedule yours today.
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