Foreword Fall protection in the last couple of decades has undergone a sea of changes. There has been a growing realisation that the major objective is to protect users against injury, especially in case of a fall. Creating a strong fall protection system is easy. The engineering lies in absorption of shock in an event of a fall and minimising the impact and injury.
History: IS 3521 INDUSTRIAL SAFETY BELTS AND HARNESSES – SPECIFICATION was published in 1989. The standards laid down requirements of half body safety belts and lanyards. Soon it was realised that Half body belts do not provide complete safety and although it offered a fall arrest solution, it was not able to eliminate injury. The standards were reaffirmed in 1999, and the design of harness was changed to a full body harness in 5 different classes: The standards were reaffirmed again in 2002 and the distance of the dummy in dynamic testing of the harness was changed to 4 m. No standards are complete and validated if they do not cover periodic inspection and maintenance. Since fall arrest devices are lifesaving mechanisms, the IS 3521 addresses inspection in detail and allows only the manufacturer or a person trained by the manufacturer to inspect fall protection equipment. The way forward:- The CHD 8 committee of BIS is in the process of Updating the IS 3521 and soon we will have 8 sub standards added to IS 3521 to cover the entire fall arrest code. Soon BIS fall arrest standards would match the world standards.