Falls from height continue to be a leading cause of workplace fatalities in the construction industry. In recent years, falls have accounted for 33% of construction worker deaths.¹

To help prevent on-the-job injuries and fatalities in construction, it’s imperative to keep up with the latest ANSI standards for fall protection equipment and best practices.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system. ANSI works in close collaboration with stakeholders from industry and government to identify and develop standards- and conformance-based solutions to national and global priorities.²

How ANSI Standards Are Developed

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) is a global association which supports occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals in their efforts to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.³ Along with ANSI and a representative group of users, manufacturers – including MSA – and other stakeholders, the ANSI/ASSP standards are developed.


The ANSI/ASSP Z359 fall protection and fall restraint standards address fall protection equipment and systems for climbing, work positioning, fall arrest, rescue, evacuation and other fall hazards. These standards also address training, and how to identify and abate hazards to prevent injuries when working at height.4

Originally published in 2012 and updated in 2014, ANSI Z359.14 defined both types and classes of Self Retracting Devices (SRD).

The latest edition of Z359.14, published in July 2021, features several updates to Types, Classes, and Performance Requirements of SRDs.

ANSI Z359.14 Updates

Updates to the standard include:


SRD “Types” are simply a way of helping the manufacturer determine what type of tests they should perform based on the SRD design. The 2021 updates have added a new type of SRD and removed another from the previous list.

  • Added: Type SRL-P. A device compact enough and approved by the manufacturer to be worn on a full-body harness.
  • Removed: Type SRL-LE. Now a type SRL—defining Leading Edge – is covered in the new classes of SRDs.
ANSI Fall Prevention


In the 2021 revision to Z359.14, Classes are now used to describe products for overhead only products (Class 1) and leading edge rated products (Class 2). These classes ultimately explain how much free fall the unit can handle and if it has been tested for a fall event over an edge.

  • New: Classes are separated as Class 1 and Class 2.
  • Removed: Classes A and B have been removed.
fall protection classes


There are no longer multiple performance requirements depending on Class. SRDs must now comply with specific limits for Maximum Arrest Force, Average Arrest Force, and Maximum Arrest Distance.

fall arrest distance

The deadline for manufacturers to comply with the latest Z359.14 edition is now August 1, 2023. This is adjusted from the previous deadline of February 1, 2023.

Download MSA’s free white paper HERE for a more detailed overview of the updates to ANSI Z359.14.



[1] https://www.assp.org/news-and-articles/2020/09/18/safety-news-you-need-fall-protection

[2] https://www.ansi.org/about/introduction#

[3] https://www.assp.org/about/

[4] https://www.assp.org/standards/standards-topics/fall-protection-and-fall-restraint-z359#:~:text=The%20ANSI%2FASSP%20Z359%20fall,injuries%20when%20working%20at%20height.


Reposted with permission. Originally published on https://blog.msasafety.com.

Fall Prevention Training

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