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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Fall Rescue Systems to Private Security Providers


In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Fall Rescue Systems
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of injury and fatalities for U.S. workers. In an effort to protect safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) professionals, contractors, members of labor unions, employees of manufacturers and distributors, and all facets of business and industry working in environments where exposure to the risk of falls is prevalent, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently published a new American National Standard (ANS).

ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012, Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems, establishes requirements for the performance, design, qualification testing, markings and instructions, inspections, maintenance and storage, and removal from service of self-retracting devices (SRDs). Types of devices covered include self-retracting lanyards (SRLs), self-retracting lanyards with integral rescue capability (SRL-Rs), and self-retracting lanyards with leading edge capability (SRL-LEs). ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 establishes requirements for SRD's intended for use in personal fall arrest or rescue systems for authorized persons within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 141kg).

The new standard is part of a suite of fall protection standards: ANSI/ASSE Z359, Fall Protection Code Package. These ANS cover basic fall safety principles including hazard survey, hazard elimination and control, and education and training. The primary intent is to ensure a proactive approach to fall protection; however, the reactive process of accident investigation is also addressed to ensure that adequate attention is given to causation of falls to prevent future incidents.

ASSE, an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, is committed to protecting people, property, and the environment. Its more than 32,000 members manage, supervise, and consult on safety, health, and environmental issues related to industry, insurance, government, and education.

Private Security Providers
Private security service providers (PSCs) play an important role in protecting state and non-state clients engaged in relief, recovery, and reconstruction efforts; commercial business operations; diplomacy; and military activity. ASIS International has published a series of PSC standards that offer requirements and guidance for management systems with auditable criteria for private security service providers.

The purpose of the PSC series of standards is to improve and demonstrate consistent and predictable quality of services provided by PSCs while maintaining the safety and security of their operations and clients within a framework that aims to ensure respect for human rights, national and international laws, and fundamental freedoms.

Most recently, ANSI/ASIS PSC.3-2013, Maturity Model for the Phased Implementation of a Quality Assurance Management System for Private Security Service Providers, was released to provide guidance for the use of a maturity model for phased implementation of ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations - Requirements with Guidance. ANSI/ASIS PSC.3-2013 is designed to help organizations evaluate where they currently are with regard to quality assurance and risk management consistent with respect for human rights, legal obligations, and good practices; set goals for where they want to go, and benchmark where they are relative to those goals; and plot a business/mission appropriate path to get there. The model outlines six phases ranging from an unplanned approach to managing events, to going beyond the requirements of the ANS, and creating a holistic approach for quality assurance, managing risks and respecting human rights in high risk environments. Regardless of the level of maturity, there is an obligation to abide by the best practices and principles of the Montreux Document and International Code of Conduct (ICoC).

An ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, ASIS International is the largest organization for security professionals. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing standards, educational programs, and materials that address security interests, as well as advocating the role and value of the security management profession to business, media, government, and the public.

Note: A previously published version of this story made reference to private military companies. Private security service providers, also called private security companies (PSCs), are not engaged as private military companies. ANSI regrets the error.


Jana Zabinski

Director, Communications and Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]