Normally we talk about the inspection of safety gear. We talk about how it’s used and how to take care of it, who inspects it and how to use it. This question goes into testing, which is more on the manufacturing side of safety harnesses and not about proper use of the equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regulations are for workers and employers to use, but OSHA does not regulate manufacturing, only use and application. OSHA offers a non-mandatory guideline for testing in OSHA 1910 Subpart I App D. When OSHA gets into specifics of safety products, you’ll see a citation from ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.
OSHA’s Appendix D to Subpart 1 of 1910 – Test Methods and Procedures for Personal Fall Protection Systems Non-Mandatory Guidelines can be found here.
As a manufacturer of safety products, Malta Dynamics, with all other reputable manufacturers in this space, design and make products to a recognized standard set by ANSI. The ANSI committee for Fall Protection is composed of experts in manufacturing, engineering, and in workplace safety. These professionals meet and develop standards for products to perform to. After a standard is developed and agreed upon, manufacturers use a qualified 3rd party testing laboratory to ensure compliance to the standard.
A look at the label of your safety harness will tell you the standard your gear was tested to. ANSI Z359.11-2021 is the most recent for safety harnesses, however if yours is tested to an older standard, it does not necessarily mean it should be replaced. It might be a good idea to look at the standard and ensure it matches up with the requirements of your work.
Unlike OSHA, ANSI standards are not free to view, each standard can be purchased on this website, the money collected from these helps fund the efforts at ANSI, most contributors are volunteers, and Malta Dynamics has two members on the ANSI Fall Protection committee.
To speak with one of Malta Dynamics members on the ANSI Fall Protection Committee, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “ANSI” in the subject line.
So, the answer to this question is, an accredited testing laboratory tests harnesses, to an ANSI or OSHA standard, all of which are taken care of by the manufacturer of your safety harness.
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