If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve talked a lot about snaphooks. I’m back to talk about the subject again, but this time, I’m using snaphooks as an example of a larger issue.
The ANSI Z359-2007 standards published new requirements for snaphooks – calling for a significantly higher 3,600-pound gate strength. Well-intended people are purchasing new snaphooks that meet the standard’s requirements. But, those same people are often just giving people equipment and expecting them to use it correctly.
Please remember that just because the equipment meets the standard doesn’t eliminate the chance for failure. The equipment still has to be used correctly—within the use requirements and limitations of the manufacturer’s instructions. Just meeting the standards is not a panacea for anything that could go wrong. These components have not been tested in all configurations, so they must be used as directed. Also, many manufacturers have different loading abilities in different directions.
The bottom line is: people have to be well trained to ensure proper use. There is no “easy button” when it comes to fall protection equipment.