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, Contributing 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
Hydrogen, the Future of Materials Handling
Large, successful organizations are integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into their lift truck fleets and benefiting from lower operational costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order fulfillment process and increased throughput with near 100% accuracy.
System Report: Brownells new DC is flexible and responsive
Pallet Usage Report: Pallets Remain Critical in the Modern-Day Warehouse
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Pallets: Supporting Product, Processes and the Enterprise
The smallest leak in performance or cost can bring a lean, nimble and speedy supply chain to a halt. During this 30-minute webcast we'll examine how Modern's readers use pallets to keep the wheels turning as they maneuver a road filled with sharp edges and potholes.
Register Today!
Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...

American Eagle Outfitters’ omni-channel journey
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true...
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...