Nothing is more important than fall protection safety—OSHA thinks so too. Dangerous circumstances involving safety at heights are all too common. Fall protection (1926.501) was the leading cause in willful and serious violations in the fiscal year of 2015 according to the NSC.

Self-retracting lifelines, or SRLs, are generally composed of a harness, a lanyard, a deceleration device, an anchorage connector and a lifeline. The fall arresters were separated into two classes in August 2012. ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) divided them so one can calculate their own fall clearance to know which class would be safer to use.


The two classes are: 

Class A

• 24-inch maximum arrest distance.
• 1,350-lb average arrest force.
• 1,800-lb maximum arrest force.

Class B

• 54-inch maximum arrest distance.
• 900-lb average arrest force.
• 1,800-lb maximum arrest force.

Credit: Guardian Fall Protection


The ANSI Safety Requirement, Z359.14-2012 (Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest Rescue Systems), has since been reexamined and modified (Z359.14-2014). Section 1.3 of the Brief states that self-retracting devices shall be classified according to dynamic performance; however this was initially part of Z359.14-2012.


The classes are separated by two-and-a-half feet of distance and 450 pounds of arresting force. Possessing the knowledge of which class to prepare for could mean the difference between life and death and one should always plan for fall protection.


At DiVal, we take fall protection very seriously. For information on taking a fall protection training course with us, contact Training Coordinator Judy Trent at 800-343-1354, ext. 3153 or at


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