OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 41 Work Requiring Rope Access

Section 834 Full body harness

For compliance purposes, the full body harness must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI, etc. as evidence that the full body harness meets the requirements of at least one of the listed Standards. A full body harness bearing a CE mark is considered acceptable for the purposes of this Code, as is a full body harness bearing the UIAA label. The CE mark – Conformite Europenne – indicates that the company manufacturing the product has met the requirements of one or more European directives. A UIAA label cannot be used unless the full body harness already bears a CE mark.

Each of the listed harness standards recognizes the use of a sternal attachment point for rope access work.

NFPA Standard 1983

NFPA Standard 1983: 2006, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness and Hardware, as a Class III harness. A Class III life safety harness is one that fastens around the waist, around the thighs or under the buttocks and is designed for rescue where two-person loads may be encountered and inverting may occur. A Class III life safety harness must meet the following requirements:

  • all webbing, stitching and riveting must withstand a tensile test of at least 6000 lbs-force without failure
  • fibre used in the construction of the harness, including webbing, thread, and labels must have a melting point of at least 4000F
  • drop testing is done in accordance with ANSI Standard A10.14, using a 300-lb manikin

CEN Standard EN 361

CEN Standard EN 361: 2007, Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Full body harnesses, specifies the requirements, test methods, marking, information supplies by the manufacturer and packaging for full body harnesses. Drop testing involves both feet first and head first drops of a 100 kg mass through a free fall distance of 4 m.

ANSI Standard Z359.1

ANSI Standard Z359.1-2007, Safety requirements for personal fall arrest systems, subsystems and components, establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal from service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines, and self-retracting lanyards comprising personal fall arrest systems for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 140 kg).