We have heard a lot of questions lately about the recent letters of interpretations from OSHA related to snaphook gate strength. Hopefully I can shed some light on the subject for you. First, OSHA released a letter stating a requirement to comply with the increased snaphook strength requirements outlined in ANSI Z359.1-2007. Then, that letter was rescinded largely because the ANSI Z359 standards apply to general industry—not construction.
The fact you need to know is that equipment that meets the ANSI Z359.1-1992 (R1999) standard with the lower gate strength requirement is safe when used according to the manufacturer’s requirements. However, equipment that meets the ANSI Z359.1-2007 is safer. This is an important point when talking to management about replacing existing equipment.
This is a complex issue that includes discussion on structural mechanics, anchorages and equipment compatibility. I am happy to discuss these details if you have questions, but for now, I just wanted you to understand the basics.