Life on the Edge: Leading Edge Applications

Life on the Edge: Leading Edge Applications

Fall protection has many facets, and leading edge applications are relatively new to the game. OSHA’s regulation 1926.502 and .503 pertaining to fall protection standards were issued in the early 2000s. In the mid-2010s, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) released a new standard Z359.14; this standard addresses leading and sharp edge applications where self-retracting devices on personal fall arrest systems are concerned. Explore the standard and Safe Keeper’s line of Self Retracting Lines designed specifically for Leading Edge (LE) work.

Details of ANSI’s Z359.14 Standard

The ANSI standard Z359.14 addresses leading and sharp edge applications when an employee is working at heights and wearing a self-retracting devices as a personal fall arrest system. The standard defines a leading edge a “the edge of a floor, roof or other walking/working surface that is considered to be an unprotected side and edge and a worker risks falling.” 

The issue is that life lines can respond in a radically different manner in a leading edge or sharp edge application than in applications missing those edge elements. For instance, in a leading edge or sharp edge application, a worker who falls has a much higher chance of swinging back and forth like a pendulum; this presents the danger of the falling worker being swung into a wall or equipment or even causing the line to become cut and frayed, and even break. Obviously, the danger of injury or death from a fall is not eliminated if the personal fall arrest system does not keep the worker safe in the event of the fall due to a leading edge or sharp edge application.

In response to the danger presented by leading edge or sharp edge applications, Z359.14 references new testing requirements and design changes so that Self Retracting Lines protect workers in leading edge or sharp edge applications.

Safe Keeper offers numerous Self Retracting Lines (SRLs) designed to meet the requirements of Z359.14 for leading edge (LE) work. The SRL’s include heavy-duty materials and an integrated shock absorbing component that helps to refocus the force of the fall away from the portion of the cable that comes into contact with the leading or sharp edge, reducing the pendulum affect and fraying. Contact us to discuss your personal fall arrest system needs!

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