Skip to content

Understanding the New ANSI Standard for Self-Retracting Lifelines: What’s Improved & How to Increase Safety in Your Workplace

By Michael Cameron, Contributor

With fall protection being the #1 OSHA violation for more than a decade, it’s no surprise that companies continue to invest in equipment and training to keep workers informed on the latest standards and equipped with current products. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, with OSHA’s latest statistics reflecting 351 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities in 2020.

The frequency of fall-related injuries can often be tied to training or adherence to safety-related practices. Safety initiatives and training programs are vital to keeping workers informed, safe on-site, and up-to-date on American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards – and equipment plays a key part.

Fall protection is required at elevations of six feet or more in the majority of fall hazards encountered in the construction industry. Safety directors and general contractors rely on industry associations as well as manufacturers to inform them on standard changes and the impact these revisions have on ladders and fall protection equipment.

In June 2021, the ANSI approved Z359.14 for self-retracting lifelines (SRLs), which are used in fall arrest and rescue systems. SRLs are used in several industries across multiple sectors, and these changes will encourage safety directors to update their safety equipment accordingly.

The newly published ANSI standard includes new classifications, increased test weights, performance requirements, and updated labeling requirements to provide users with clear information.

Specific Changes to ANSI Code Z359.14

The code changes can be grouped into three main modifications:

  1. Class Testing: Class A and Class B have changed to Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 SRLs are to be anchored at or above the user’s dorsal D-Ring. Class 2 SRLs can be anchored above or below the user’s dorsal D-Ring down to foot level. The test weight has increased from 282 lbs. to 310 lbs. for both Classes, and the static test load has also increased from 3,000 lbs. to 3,600 lbs. The chart below highlights how the data has changed for the new codes.
Previous Specifications (2014) Current Specifications (2021)
Class A Class 1
Tested overhead with 282 lb. weight Tested overhead with 310 lb. weight
Must arrest fall within 24 in. Must arrest fall within 42 in.
Average force <1,350 lbs. Average force <1,350 lbs.
Static test weight of 3,000 lbs. Static test weight of 3,600 lbs.
Class B Class 2
Tested overhead with 282 lb. weight Tested overhead with 310 lb. weight
Must arrest fall within 54 in. Tested foot level with 310 lb. weight
Average force <900 lbs. Average force <1,350 lbs.
Static test weight of 3,000 lbs. Static test weight of 3,600 lbs.
  1. Specific Tests for Personal SRLs (SRL-Ps): SRL-Ps now have specific testing requirements. SRL-Ps are statically tested pulling a load of 3,600 lbs. between the two legs. Additionally, the twin leg connector of an SRL-P must withstand a 3,600 lbs. static test. A dynamic test with both legs of the SRL-P connected to the test weight must have a maximum arrest force less than 1,800 lbs. force. Finally, tie-back SRL-P models must withstand a 3,600 lbs. static test after 2,500 cycles of abrasion conditioning.
  2. Product Labels and Packaging: Several changes to product labels and packaging will go into effect.

Visible “Class” icons must be provided on the SRL label to clearly identify the SRL Class.

Printed warning cards must be included within the product package for all Class 2 SRLs.

ANSI Requirements: Mandates and Implementation Dates

The revised ANSI standard was published and released for use in June of 2021. Like other ANSI Z359 standards, there is a period of time for equipment manufacturers to make changes to products, manuals, and labels according to the new standard. The “effective date” for the new standard was originally established for August 2022, but has changed to February 2023 to allow manufacturers time to make new product modifications as well as enable companies, employers, distributors, and suppliers to roll through their equipment inventory, update training, and make other modifications as needed. With today’s global supply shortages, it’s recommended that companies assess their programs as soon as possible to allow enough time to order and replace equipment as desired.

While this is a newly published standard, it’s important to understand that these standards remain voluntary. ANSI does not require that equipment meeting previous standards be removed from service when a revised or reaffirmed standard is put in place. Revised standards may have new requirements designed to address risk factors and failure mechanisms, but existing equipment can still be used as new models are rolled out.

New and updated standards usually address issues that were not known during previous standard editions and often include products or practices that are already widely accepted. Familiarity with updated standards is encouraged for equipment and practices to remain current within a fall protection program. With this new standard being released, it is an organization’s decision whether to keep existing product in use or remove the products from service.

Michael Cameron is a nine-year member of the ANSI Z359 Fall Protection Committee and representative of WernerCo.’s Fall Protection Technical Service team (

Share on Socials!

Related Articles

Related Articles

Protective Industrial Products, Inc. Acquires ISM – Leader in Athletic Inspired Safety Footwear

Protective Industrial Products, Inc. (“PIP®”), a global leader in personal protective equipment (PPE) including hand protection, above-the-neck protection, workwear and footwear, proudly announces that a definitive ...
Read More

Malta Dynamics Offers New Safety Helmets

Malta Dynamics is pleased to announce the release of its new safety helmets, which feature an innovative design that aims to maximize both safety and comfort ...
Read More

Pfannenberg Highlights PA 1 PATROL Series Sounder for Industrial Safety

Pfannenberg, a leading global manufacturer of thermal management and signaling technologies, highlights the durable PA 1 PATROL Series Sounder, ideal for audible alarm applications on cranes, ...
Read More

Sponsored Content

Veriforce's eBook explores the transformative potential of their solution for the utilities sector. It focuses on predictive analytics, enabling proactive decision-making, alongside configurability to customize solutions, and a strong emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance considerations. Discover how Veriforce empowers utility companies to navigate complex challenges and drive supply chain alignment for sustainable growth.

Follow WMHS!


Ind Hygiene


Scroll To Top