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SAFETY / Fall Protection Standards AS/NZS 1891

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AS/NZS 1891 is the Standard that specifies the requirements for the materials, design, manufacture and testing of harnesses, lanyards, pole straps and associated equipment including connecting devices and personal energy absorbers for industrial restraint and fall-arrest purposes.

Appendices include test methods for equipment items and assemblies, and for component materials.

The ability of the human body to survive a fall with the minimum chance of serious injury will depend principally on the decelerating forces imposed on the body during fall-arrest and the manner in which those forces are transmitted to the body. These factors have been recognized in the preparation of this Standard in two ways.

Firstly, equipment used to arrest a free-fall, i.e., an unrestrained fall either vertical or down a steep slope, is required to be designed so that forces developed in the supporting lanyard during the fall do not exceed 6 kN, i.e. the deceleration is limited to 6g. Secondly, this level of deceleration is readily survivable provided the person suffering the fall is properly constrained in a harness. There is ample evidence to show that even for relatively short restrained or unrestrained falls, the wearing of a belt only can lead to injuries such as broken ribs, or damage to the kidneys, spleen or lungs. For this reason this Standard envisages that, as a minimum, a person at risk of any fall will wear a harness.

Attention is also drawn to the problem of suspension trauma, the adverse consequences which can arise if a person remains suspended in a harness for any length of time.
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