It’s official – Australia has a brand new standard for lanyards (and pole straps)!
Old v New Standard for Lanyards
The new Standard for Lanyard Assembly and Pole Straps – known as AS/NZS 1891.5 (2020) – came into force in Australia in August.
Requirements documented in this new Standard supersede those captured previously for lanyards and pole straps (under Standard AS/NZS 1891.1).
New Standard more specific
AS/NZS 1891.5 (2020) separates out lanyard assembly and pole strap requirements from harnesses (previously under one Standard).
The goal is to document specific requirements for the materials, design, manufacture, testing and labelling of lanyard assemblies and pole straps.
It’s important to note that self-retracting lanyards and guided type fall arrestors are not covered by this new Standard (refer AS/NZS 1891.3 (2020)).
It has been recognised in the preparation of this new Standard that the equipment used to arrest a free-fall needs to be designed:
- to cater for diversity in user mass (weight); and
- to ensure forces that may develop in the supporting lanyard assembly during a fall-arrest do not exceed 6 kN
All credit to the regulators for taking further steps to strengthen equipment and ensure it performs to the highest possible standards when in-use.
Read on to find out more about two of the key changes – and how they might affect what you buy and how you use it going forward.
1. New labelling system for lanyards
The new Standard introduces a new labelling system for lanyards.
The goal is to help users identify a safe minimum and maximum user mass weight rating for each individual item:
User Mass | The mass or load of the lanyard assembly user – including the user’s body, clothing, personal protective equipment and carried tools and materials
New labelling will include a table showing both minimum and maximum rated capacity in kilograms (kg).
Next to this, the minimal fall clearance required (below anchorage point) will be shown in metres (m) and based on minimum vs maximum rating.
What does this mean for you?
It will take some time before AS/NZS 1891.5 (2020) certified products hit the shelves. New lanyards and pole straps have to firstly be manufactured and then tested and certified to this new Standard by qualified inspectors.
In the meantime, it’s important to ensure that any lanyard you use is compatible with your weight rating requirements. As your specialist height safety provider, we can help you do this if needed.
2. New rating requirements for Connectors
The new Standard also introduces new minimum rating requirements for all connectors.
Connector | A load-bearing, openable device that is used to connect components and which enables the user to assemble a system which can connect (directly or indirectly) to an anchor
The goal is to ensure connector gates and major axis points are strong enough to withstand a maximum load. To this end, connectors must be manufactured and tested in accordance with international Standards:
- ANSI/ASSP Z 359.12; or
- EN 362*
*Note: Connectors conforming to EN 362 must also have a gate resistance (face and side of 6 kN minimum)
Thereafter, to meet Australia’s minimum rating requirements, all new connectors must be marked with the following information:
- Gate loading minimum breaking strength (gate face and gate side)
- Major axis minimum breaking strength
This is what you should be looking for as a purchaser and/or end-user.
What does this mean for you?
As above, it will take some time before AS/NZS 1891.5 (2020) certified connectors hit the shelves.
In the meantime, you can check that your connector meets your minimum strength requirements by talking to us.
Why it’s always safer to shop with specialists
The benefit of buying from height safety specialists is that you’re dealing with people who use the height safety equipment we sell. We know it inside out and we use it every day on the job.
As for these new and improved Australian Standards — we’ve already talked to our suppliers to confirm all of the products we sell comply!
So reach out if you have any questions. We’re here to help you make the right product choices for yourself, your team and your business.