OSHA & ANSI Standards

The fall protection industry has been bombarded with regulations and standards. Understanding these requirements is key to ensuring a safe work environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR) assures and enforces safe and healthful working conditions for general industry and construction in the United States. Under the Act, employers have the duty of providing their workers with a place of employment free from recognized safety and health hazards. It’s the law. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are voluntary organizations made up of manufacturers and consumers that establish product performance standards for fall protection safety. Meeting the standards indicates that products pass accepted testing procedures. The standards are not enforceable as law, however many OSHA regulations are adopted from ANSI standards.

Employers should obtain copies of the regulations that apply to their work operations by writing to:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue
N.W., Washington, DC  20210

Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
178 Rexdale Boulevard
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada  M9W 1R3

American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI)
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY  10036

British Standards Online (BS EN)

OSHA Regulations Governing Construction
(29 CFR PART 1926)
Subpart E covers some requirements for personal protective equipment.
Safety Belts, Lifelines and Lanyards 1926.104
Safety Nets
Subpart L covers scaffolds.  1926.450-454
Subpart M covers fall protection in its entirety and explains when and where fall protection systems are required and for what construction work activities. It also defines system component requirements.
Scope, Application and Definitions  1926.500
Duty to Have Fall Protection  1926.501
Fall Protection Systems Criteria and Practices 1926.502
Training Requirements 1926.503
Subpart R covers issues specific to steel erection.
Fall Protection (Proposed) 1926.750
Subpart X covers ladders. 1926.1053
OSHA Regulations Governing General Industry
(29 CFR PART 1910)
Subpart D mentions a few specific fall protection requirements relative to walking/working surfaces.
Fixed Ladders – Ladder Safety Devices 1910.27(d)(5)
Safety Requirements for Scaffolding – Boatswain’s Chairs  1910.28(j)(4)
Subpart F covers fall protection as it pertains to powered platforms, manlifts, and vehicle-mounted work platforms.
Powered Platforms for Building Maintenance 1910.66
Personal Fall Arrest Systems 1910.66
  Appendix C
Subpart J covers general environmental controls in which confined spaces are addressed.
Permit-Required Confined Spaces  1910.146
Subpart R is for issues specific to special industries.
Telecommunications  1910.268
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution  1910.269
Additional Industry-Specific OSHA Regulations
Marine Terminals  1917
Longshoring 1918
ANSI Standards
Scaffolding A10.8
Personnel and Debris Nets for Construction and Operations A10.11-1989
Construction and Demolition Operations A10.32-2004
Ladder Safety Devices A14.3
Confined Space Z117.1
Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components Z359.2007
CSA Standards
Safety Belts and Lanyards Z259.1-95
Fall Arresters, Vertical Lifelines and Rails Z259.2.1-98
Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest Systems Z259.2.2-98
Descent Control Devices Z259.2.3-99
Linemen’s Body Belt and Safety Straps Z259.3-M1978
Full-Body Harnesses Z259.10-M90
Shock Absorber for Personal Fall Arrest Systems Z259.11-M92
Connecting Components Z259.12-01
Wood Pole Climbing Z259.14-01
British Standards
Personal Protective Equipment Against Falls from Heights Retractable-Type Fall Arresters BS EN 360:1993
Personal Protective Equipment Against Falls from Heights Retractable-Type Fall Arresters BS EN 360:2002
Personal Protective Equipment Against Falls from Heights-Connectors BS EN 362:1993
Personal Protective Equipment Against Falls from Heights – Fall Arrest Systems BS EN 363:2002
Personal Protective Equipment Against Falls from Heights – Test Methods BS EN 364:1993
Personal Protective Equipment Against Falls from Heights – General Requirements for Instructions for Use and Markings BS EN 365:1993
European Community (CE Standards)
Directive for Personal Protective Equipment 89/686/EEC
Australia / New Zealand Standards
Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices – Safety Belts and Harnesses AS/NZS 1891.1-1995/Amdt 4-1999