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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

Published on October 3rd, 2011; the new ANSI Z359.7 “Standard for Qualification Testing” was a game changer for the fall protection industry. These new rules will take effect and set new requirements for all fall protection manufacturers.

This standard demands that:

  1. All products must be subjected to Qualification testing (3 samples) and Verification testing (1 sample).
  2. All testing must be performed by an ISO 17025 laboratory and witnessed/certified by an on staff Professional Engineer OR performed by an ISO 17025 laboratory and witnessed/certified by a third party testing agency.
  3. Manufacturers must comply with ISO 9001 or an equivalent Quality Management Program

This means if a manufacturer wants to stamp fall protection products as ‘Z359 approved’ than they need to comply with these requirements. The purpose of the new roles is to weed out or improve fall protection manufacturers that either inadequately perform testing or do not perform any testing whatsoever. The third party testing agency or on staff Professional Engineer is required to have experience in fall protection and they must ensure that all tests are performed per ANSI Z359 requirements. This promotes standardization across the industry and helps in improving the safety of all products.

While these rules have driven a vast improvement in the industry, they have also increased the costs of manufacturing fall protection supplies and materials. If a manufacturer does not already meet the requirements of ANSI Z359.7 than their options are to: (a) Routinely bring in and compensate a third party testing agency, (b) Ship out all products to a ISO 17025 laboratory and pay for testing to be performed or (c) Retain a licensed Professional Engineer on staff or on a consulting basis.

With more stringent standards, come higher costs to manufacture safe products. However, as safety has always been the ultimate goal of Guardian Fall Protection, we look forward to complying with these new requirements.