Starting August 1, 2023, the new ANSI Z359.14-2021 standard update goes into effect.
New Types of SRDs
Previous ANSI Z359.14-2014
SRL - Standard, over-head only
SRL-R - Standard, over-head only rescue device
SRL-LE - Rated for Leading-Edge
New ANSI SRD Update - ANSI Z359.14-2021
SRL - Standard, Leading-Edge non-back mounted
SRL-R - Standard, over-head rescue-device
SRL-P - Standard, Leading-Edge personal back mounted
These changes may look confusing or unfamiliar, but don't fret! These changes are mainly for the manufacturers to know what testing is required of them for the new standard update.
New Classifications of SRDs
Let's get into the important stuff for the typical user.
Previous ANSI Z359.14-2014 New ANSI SRD Update - ANSI Z359.14-2021
Class A: Overhead mounted, max arrest distance of 24" or less
Class 1: Anchor at or above dorsal D-Ring
Class B: Overhead mounted, max arrest distance of 54" or less
Class 2: Anchor at, above, or below dorsal D-Ring
These updates have made it easier for the end user to know exactly what self-retracting device they are needing. Class 1 SRDs will be used with a tie-off point at or above the dorsal D-Ring. Class 2 SRDs will be used for tie-off points at, above, or below the dorsal D-Ring. Formerly, SRDs were classified by their arresting distance. This created confusion for anyone who may not be familiar with fall protection. Aside from the confusion, it took a lot of knowledge, time, and resources to reach a conclusion on which SRD was the best fit for your application. With the new update, it is much easier for everyone to understand and takes the guessing out of the decision.
Now that we covered what's changing, let's cover how the change is happening.
There were no manufacturer directions in the update on how manufacturers should go about supporting users with non-compliant SRDs. Ultimately, it is up to the original manufacturer on how they handle the update. There are a couple of routes we have seen so far, but this does not mean that every manufacturer is prepared to help you through this major update. With the update set for August 1st, 2023, its starting to get closer to that end date and users are itching for directions on how to go about using SRDs once the update is in place.
Some manufacturers will provide updated stickers for previously purchased SRDs because they have tested their previous product to the new ANSI Z359.14-2021 requirements.
Some manufacturers will no longer support previously purchased SRDs and end users will be left to purchase new SRDs if ANSI compliance is mandatory for their scope of use.
If you are unsure of what your manufacturer is doing, reach out to the supplier or manufacturer directly. They should be able to give you an idea of the next steps to be in compliance.
The new stickers will look like the ones below.
To start, all SRDs will have either the Class 1 or Class 2 sticker.
Aside from the Class 1 and Class 2 stickers, the manufacturer shall include, in a conspicuous location on the device, the appropriate color-coded icon designating the class for the device. For SRLs and SRL-Rs, the icon shall be a minimum of 1-inch square (25mm.) For SRL-Ps, it shall be a minimum of 0.5-inch square (12.5mm.)
SRLs, SRL-Ps, and SRL-Rs are all types of self retracting devices (SRDs.)
Class 2 self-retracting devices (SRDs)
shall be marked to identify:
Minimum installation setback distance
Clearance required when falling over edge
A warning that exposure to a sharp or serrated structural edge could damage the device and that anchorage should be elevated to the extent possible to limit the risk of damage or failure
A warning to adhere to the hierarchy of controls as discussed in ANSI/ASSP Z359.2
Class 2 SRDs shall include labels illustrating a fall clearance table and a diagram of the axes shown on the table. These labels shall be affixed to the product, preferably at or near the point of attachment to the full body harness.
The new stickers give users a better insight into the use and clearance distances. All class 2 SRDs will also include a printed card from the manufacturer. The card is meant to warn users that SRDs may not always prevent serious injury or death. This puts an emphasis on the hierarchy of controls. The card will be a minimum of 3 inches by 5 inches (76mm by 127mm). The card must be in white font (Arial, 16pt) on an orange background. The card must state the following:
"WARNING: This Class 2 self-retracting device, when attached to a foot-level anchorage, poses significant risk of injury. The user, the competent person and/or qualified person, should all acknowledge that normal use of this device MAY NOT PREVENT A SERIOUS INJURY. Failure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and warnings may result in serious injury or death."
This is meant to remind everyone that these products are not invincible, and using them incorrectly or without the proper knowledge can result in serious injury or death. These products have limitations and must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions.
The new ANSI SRD Update - ANSI Z359.14-2021 is ultimately easier to understand and simplifies the decision process for choosing a self retracting device. Each manufacturer is going to handle this new update differently. It is up to the end users to know how they need to handle the SRD update. At Skyline Fall Protection, we have started the efforts to know what our suppliers are doing and what we have to do to support our clients.