Fall Protection Definitions & Nomenclature Standard Gets an Update

The American Society of Safety Engineers announced the approval of a newly revised American National Standards Institute (ANSI) /ASSE Z359.0-2009 "Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest" voluntary consensus standard. The aim of the standard, says ASSE, is to provide the most current information on slip, trip, and fall prevention.

The updated standard, approved by ANSI on Oct. 27 and now available to download at no cost at ASSE's Web site (www.asse.org), establishes definitions and nomenclature for fall arrest and fall protection equipment, which includes definitions and nomenclature used for all the current Z359 standards.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of the 5,071 fatal on-the-job injuries that occurred in 2008 in the United States, 680 were attributed to falls. In addition, Richard Fairfax, OSHA's director of enforcement programs, recently noted that fall protection is one of the top 10 most cited OSHA violations for 2009.

ASSE serves as the secretariat for the Z359 Fall Protection standards, or Fall Protection Code, which now includes nine standards: Z359.0-2009 “Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest”; Z359.1-2007 “Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components”; Z359.2-2007 “Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program”; Z359.3-2007 “Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems”; Z359.4-2007 “Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components”; Z359.6-2009 “Specification and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems”; Z359.12-2009 “Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest Systems”; and Z359.13-2009 “Personal Energy Absorbers and Energy Absorbing Lanyards,” as well as the historical ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-1992 (R1999).

The ANSI/ASSE Z359 ASC for Fall Arrest/Protection is also working on 10 additional Z359 standards projects aimed at protecting workers from falls. For more information on or to purchase the Z359 Fall Protection Code, version 2.0, visit www.asse.org/cartpage.php?link=z359-v2.

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