ANSI Z359 Fall Protection

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ANSI does not regulate or enforce any laws or regulations. ANSI charters committees who are responsible for developing and authoring a specific set of practical policy guidelines for the engineering, manufacture, testing, and usage procedures for products (like fall protection equipment). Committees consist of leaders from general industry, government, labor unions, liability insurance carriers, and legal advisors. 

An ANSI Standard is intended as a guide to aid the manufacturer, the consumer, and the general public, and implementation is at the discretion of the industries and governmental regulatory agencies affected. The existence of an ANSI Standard does not in any respect preclude any party from manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, or using products, processes, or procedures not conforming to the standard. It is important to remember that the ANSI Standards do not constitute governing law. However, legally-binding regulatory bodies (like OSHA) refer to ANSI standards when creating their own regulations. 


Originally published in 1992, ANSI Z359 was developed to provide standard safety requirements for personal fall arrest systems, subsystems, and components. Its primary purpose was to provide guidance in regards to the design of fall protection systems and the variety of equipment used in the industry. 

ANSI Standards are subject to periodic review and Z359 has been updated regularly since 1992 as new equipment and hazards evolve. The most current version addresses fall protection equipment and systems for climbing, work positioning, fall arrest, rescue, evacuation, and other fall hazards. The standard also addresses training and how to identify and abate hazards to prevent injuries when working at height.

  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.0-2012 - Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest
    Clarifies fall protection industry terms providing the exact definitions for industry professionals for continuity regarding product application, design, and intent. 
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2016 - Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components
    Establishes requirements for performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal from service of a slew of fall protection systems and individual components. This iteration has all but been negated as its standards have been individualized to provide more detailed guidelines for each component.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.2-2017 - Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
    Sets minimum requirements of a fall protection program that will enable an employer to identify, evaluate, eliminate, or control fall hazards in the workplace. Heavily administrative but also establishes general requirements for fall protection systems and guidance on the inspection, maintenance, and storage. This also provides guidance on managing incident and rescue events.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.3-2017 - Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems
    Sets standard for fall protection product design, manufacture, testing, and performance requirements for lanyards and positioning lanyards. 
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2013 - Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components
    Detailed standards addressing rescue systems and their components. Some components are governed by other Z359 standards and may defer to those when appropriate. 
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.6-2016 - Specifications and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems
    Engineer-focussed standard used as guidance for the designing of active fall protection systems. This standard also provides a reminder that active fall protection solutions should be the last option from the hierarchy of fall protection and that all other options for employee protection should be considered prior to the selection of an active fall protection system as a solution.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.7-2011 - Qualification and Verification Testing of Fall Protection Products
    Establishes the testing requirements and performance criteria of the test equipment and procedures for all fall protection products respective to their Z359 standard.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.11-2014 - Safety Requirements for Full Body Harnesses
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of full body harnesses used in active fall protection systems.
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009 - Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest System
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of hooks, carabiners, O-rings, D-rings, adjusters, and other hardware components used in fall protection systems. 
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.13-2013 - Personal Energy Absorbers and Energy Absorbing Lanyards
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of personal energy absorbers and energy-absorbing lanyards used in fall protection systems. 
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2014 - Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices For Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of self-retracting devices (SRDs) including self-retracting lanyards (SRLs), self-retracting lanyards with rescue capabilities (SRL-Rs), and self-retracting lanyards compatible with leading-edge applications (SRL-LEs). 
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.15-2014 - Safety Requirements for Single Anchor Lifelines and Fall Arresters for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of single anchor lifelines and fall arresters commonly referred to as vertical lifeline assemblies (VLAs).
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.16-2016 - Safety Requirements for Climbing Ladder Fall Arrest Systems
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of vertically oriented climbing ladder fall arrest systems (CLFAS).
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.18-2017 - Safety Requirements for Anchorage Connectors for Active Fall Protection Systems - Part of the Fall Protection Code
    Establishes guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of anchorage connectors. Created three types of anchorage connectors and significantly expanded ANSI compliance testing from original standards for anchorages in Z359.1.

As a leading designer, supplier, and installer of comprehensive fall protection systems, FPS can help you engineer and implement a system that will be ANSI Z359 compliant.