OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 9 Fall Protection

Section 146 Descent control device

Descent control devices are designed and intended to be used and operated by one person for personal descent or to lower another person from an elevation. A descent control device may be used for egress (exit), for work positioning, or both. Descent control devices can be either automatic or manual. Once engaged, an automatic descent control device lowers the worker at a constant speed and the worker has no ability to stop or control the rate of descent. A manual descent control device gives the user control over the rate of descent and the ability to stop the descent.

For compliance purposes, descent control devices must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI, etc. as evidence that the descent control device has been approved to the requirements of the Standards. Products bearing a CE mark also comply with this section. The CE mark – Conformité Européenne – indicates that the company manufacturing the product has met the requirements of one or more European directives. The product also complies with the listed CEN European standard.

The 2009 edition of the OHS Code marks the first time that Part 9 accepts fall protection equipment approved to standards from the U.S. and Europe. Fall protection equipment approved to any one of these standards is considered to offer an equivalent level of worker protection. Employers and workers in Alberta now have access to a broader range of equipment to safely meet their fall protection needs. Readers are referred to section 3.1 for information about previous editions of the standards.