Load Testing Fall Protection Systems.


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“While the answer to the question, “Has this fall protection system been load tested?” is a simple yes or no, the answer to the underlying question, “Should this fall protection system be load tested, and if so, how?” is not nearly as simple. Load testing of fall protection systems should be conducted as part of a complete design program.

The requirement for load testing related to fall protection is found in the ANSI/ASSE Z359 and A10 families of standards. The standards contain provisions for load testing of manufactured fall protection equipment, such as harnesses, lanyards and other PPE, but they do not discuss load testing of anchorages or anchorage connectors.

Load testing can be a powerful tool for fall protection system designers, but the method is often misunderstood. Load testing is not given extensive or specific treatment in the codes and standards, so interpretation and sound engineering judgment are necessary to determine appropriate applications of this testing method. Load testing benefits include determining the structural capacity of existing systems, as well as cost savings in design and construction of new fall protection systems. Load testing can also help prevent incidents and injuries on systems that are in use but have insufficient documentation to demonstrate their structural capacity.

Commissioning & Certification

Many proprietary systems, such as horizontal lifelines, need to be certified or commissioned by the installer or the designer prior to use. Manufacturers often require load testing as part of the certification process for their systems. This may also be true for systems requiring recertification.”


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