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Hunting Treestands

NOVEMBER 07, 2006

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standards activities to develop safety-related performance requirements for treestands and treestand fall arrest systems (full-body harnesses) typically used by bow hunters. The voluntary standards establish the procedures and requirements for testing treestand load capacity, static stability, and repetitive loading capacity. The standards also establish the test methods for dynamically evaluating fall arrest systems. The standards include:

  • ASTM F2125, Standard Test Method for Treestand Static Stability
  • ASTM F2126, Standard Test Method for Treestand Static Load Capacity
  • ASTM F2127, Standard Test Method for Treestand Adherence
  • ASTM F2128, Standard Test Method for Treestand Repetitive Loading Capability
  • ASTM F2337, Standard Test Method for Treestand Fall Arrest Systems

In 2005, an estimated 5,686 injuries associated with treestand use were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. From 1980 – 2001, CPSC staff is aware of 63 deaths associated with treestands. The majority of injuries/deaths resulted from hunters falling out of treestands while not wearing a safety harness. In some instances, hunters wearing safety harnesses suffered serious injury or death after becoming entangled or suspended in the harness for extended periods without a means of self-rescue. Since 2001, there have been at least 4 reported cases in which hunters wearing full body harnesses were killed, injured or left dangling after falling from trees because they were unable to execute a means of self rescue.

CPSC staff is continuing to study how to improve the safety of fall arrest systems and self-rescue measures and to investigate ways to identify and eliminate potential strangulation risks that may be associated with specific fall arrest systems.  

Additional Information


Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:

Safety Alerts:

ASTM International

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