New ANSI standard amends fall protection specifications for man-up lift trucks

Fixed-length lanyards no longer permitted, harnesses must be rated for user’s weight.

By ·

A new safety standard has been published for the use of lanyard and harness restraint systems on forklifts. On February 23, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, clause 4.17 was revised. It now requires all users of man-up lift trucks to issue personal fall protection equipment based on the operator’s weight, and mandates the use of an energy-absorbing or self-retracting lanyard. Although compliance with ANSI’s consensus standards is voluntary, many are often adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Ron Grisez, manager of product safety for Crown Equipment, was a member of the ASNI task group that worked on the standard. Whereas most new standards are geared toward equipment manufacturers, the revised B56.1 standard includes changes to both the manufacturer section and the user section. Grisez has been with Crown since 2008 and said this was the first time he had seen a change to the user section.

Fixed-length lanyards are no longer permitted, but Grisez says they were already rarely used in the field according to his personal experience. More common is the use of full-body harnesses and lanyards rated to a capacity of 310 pounds or less. Under the new standard, employees weighing between 311 and 400 pounds will require lanyards rated accordingly.

The ANSI task group had been working on the new standard since 1994, and Grisez joined the group in 2008. According to Grisez, the standard received some pushback due to the then-widespread use of body belts. Grisez said body belts are not used much in general industry, where full harnesses are now preferred, but were a holdover in some man-up lift truck applications.

Jonathan Dawley, president of Hyster Distribution, said it’s important for the industry to understand the ANSI standard is not an OSHA requirement. “Rather, these standards help lift truck operations stay at the head of best practices leadership by using top product and safety equipment.”

Bill Pfleger, president of Yale Distribution, said Yale Materials Handling Corporation been following ANSI standards since the 1950s. He said that although the standards are not coming from OSHA, the Yale dealer network has been working extensively to help customers become educated and compliant. “We are in communication with dealers and customers to help them understand these industry best practice standards and their place in relation to OSHA standards and requirements.”

For the full text of the standard, click here and download chapter B56.1, or visit Crown’s website to view a quick reference table.


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Mobile Solutions: Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies
To meet customer's ever-increasing service expectations and improve their business efficiency, companies are looking to their supply chain operations – especially material handling and warehouse operations managers.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
In warehouses and DCs, planning solutions tend to take a back seat to execution system functions. Vendors are working to boost the trust factor using tools that break down forecasts and blend with analytics.
Automated Storage on the Move
Receiving 101: Setting the Table for Success
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Johnson & Johnson: A vision for automation
J&J Vision Care brings together a variety of automated technologies, including an innovative...
Using AGVs at LEDVANCE
The lighting manufacturer reaped savings by reducing maintenance costs and product damage, and using...

System Report: Sustainable Distribution at REI
Specialty outdoor retailer REI’s new distribution center brings together the next generation of...
System Report: Whirlpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...