OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 835 Standards

For compliance purposes, the connector must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI, etc. as evidence that the connector meets the requirements of at least one of the listed standards. A connector bearing a CE mark is considered acceptable for the purposes of this Code, as is a connector 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 connector already bears a CE mark.

CEN Standard EN 362

CEN Standard EN 362: 2004, Personal protective equipment against falls from height. Connectors, specifies the requirements, test methods, instructions for use and marking for connectors. Connectors according to this Standard are used in work positioning and fall arrest systems specified in EN Standard EN 358 and EN Standard 363 respectively. Lanyards with connectors as terminations are specified in EN Standard 354.

The Standard defines a connector as a connecting element or component of a system. Carabiners are one type of connector covered by the Standard. To reduce the probability of unexpected opening, connectors covered by the Standard must be self-closing and self- or manual locking. They must be capable of being opened only by at least two consecutive deliberate manual actions.

Connectors tested according to the Standard must be able to withstand a static strength test of at least 15 kN without tearing or rupture.

CEN Standard EN 12275

CEN Standard EN 12275: 1998, Mountaineering equipment. Connectors. Safety requirements and test methods, specifies safety requirements and test methods for connectors used in mountaineering including climbing. This Standard defines “connector” as a device that can be opened, allowing a mountaineer to link himself or herself directly or indirectly to an anchor. Connectors are classified as types B (basic connector), H (HMS connector), K (Klettersteig connector), A (specific anchor connector), D (directional connector, excluding anchor connectors), Q (screwed gate connector – Quicklink), and X (oval connector). Depending on the type of connector, the minimum static strength required along the major axis of the connector with the gate closed ranges from 20 kN to 25 kN, although type X connectors require a minimum strength of 18 kN.

UIAA Standard 121

UIAA Standard 121: 2004, Mountaineering and Climbing Equipment – Connectors, requires that the connector meet all the requirements of CEN Standard EN 12275 and for type K connectors, additional strength and dimensional requirements are imposed.

CSA Standard Z259.12

CSA Standard Z259.12-01 (R2006), Connecting Components for Personal Fall-Arrest Systems, sets out design and performance requirements, test methods, and requirements for marking and labelling individual connecting components used as part of a personal fall arrest system (PFAS). This Standard applies to components that are
(a) used in the interconnection of a complete unit referred to in other published Standards and/or projected Standards related to PFAS;
(b) intended to be used as the primary single link to a permanent anchorage connector; and
(c) intended to be used as a primary attachment point between two or more subsystems, as described and certified under other Standards related to PFAS.

According to the Standard, the term “connectors” refers to carabiners, D-rings, O-rings, oval rings, self-locking connectors and snap hooks used to interconnect the components of a personal fall arrest system. To comply with the CSA Standard, only snap hooks and carabiners that are self-closing and self-locking can be used as interconnecting hardware in fall arrest systems. For these connecting components to be acceptable for use, their gates require at least two consecutive, deliberate actions to open.

NFPA Standard 1983

Chapter 5 of NFPA Standard 1983: 2006, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness, and Hardware, specifies design, labelling and performance requirements for connectors such as buckles, rings and snap-links. In terms of strength performance,
(a) load-bearing hardware must withstand not less than a 1200 lbs-force tensile test without permanent deformation,
(b) buckles must withstand a tensile test of not less than 5000 lbs-force without failure,
(c) rings must withstand a tensile test of not less than 5000 lbs-force without failure, and
(d) snap-links must withstand a tensile test of not less than 5000 lbs-force without failure when tested in manner of function.