ASSE Standards Address Walking/Working Surfaces & Fall Protection Systems

Three of ASSE’s recently updated national voluntary consensus standards address a pervasive workplace hazard: falls, be it from height or on the same level (a working surface):

  • ANSI/ASSE 1264.1-2017, Safety Requirements for Workplace Walking/Working Surfaces and Their Access; Workplace, Floor, Wall and Roof Openings; Stairs and Guardrail/Handrail Systems, sets forth safety requirements for protecting persons in areas/places in industrial and workplace situations where danger exists of persons or objects falling from elevated walking and work surfaces such as floor, roof or wall openings, platforms, runways, ramps, fixed stairs or roofs in normal, temporary and emergency conditions. OSHA update of its Walking/Working Surfaces standard drew many provisions from consensus standards including A1264.1. “OSHA’s new rule requires employers to set up the workplace using methodologies consistent with the intent of A1264.1: To prevent falls from platforms and other working surfaces, and prevent falls into floor and wall holes,” explains Keith Vidal, chair of the A1264 Accredited Standards Committee. “The 1264.1 standard has been widely recognized and used in both the private and public sectors. It is now referenced by OSHA in numerous regulations related to fall prevention.” Read ASSE’s Tech Brief on the standard for more information.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.6-2016, Specifications and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems, which is intended for engineers who are trained as qualified persons and who have expertise in the design of active fall protection systems. The standard specifies requirements for the design and performance of complete active fall protection systems, including travel restraint and vertical and horizontal fall arrest systems. It also presents drawing and specification requirements; materials, equipment and design requirements; and strength and clearance requirements, and addresses design assumptions and analytical methods, and system certification. The standard is part of the Z359.1 Fall Protection Code.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.16-2016, Safety Requirements for Climbing Ladder Fall Arrest Systems, establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification testing, instructions for use, inspection, maintenance, storage and removal from service of vertically oriented climbing ladder fall arrest systems (CLFAS). CLFAS are an assembly of components that arrest a fall; the components include the carrier and its associated mounting means, carrier sleeve, energy-absorbing elements, full-body harness and connectors, wherein the carrier is permanently attached to the climbing ladder or to the immediately adjacent structure.

“OSH professionals recognize the need to move fall protection and fall restraint forward,” says Tim Fisher, CSP, CHMM, ARM, CPEA, CAE, director of standards and technical services at ASSE. “The data indicate that although progress is being made, too many workers are still dying and being injured because of falls. The Z359 and A1264 standards move solid safety practices and processes forward and should help us prevent even more incidents.”