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Critique ANSI's proposed safety and health standard

September 7, 2004
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The 62-page "American National Standard - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems" (ANSI Z10), the closest the U.S. may ever get to a workplace safety program rule (although voluntary) and a possible precursor to a global ISO safety and health program standard, is now available for public review.

Work on the standard began in 1999 by a committee of experts, virtually a “who's who” in safety and health from industry, labor, professional societies, business trade associations and other groups.

Their final product is patterned after the management system principles of ISO 9000 (quality) and 14000 (environmental) standards.

Standards-writers say that compliance with ANSI Z10 requirements can minimize workplace risks and reduce the cost of job-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

Flexible, performance-based requirements cover:

  • Management leadership
  • Employee participation
  • Program planning, reviews and assessments
  • Hierarchy of protective controls
  • Management of change
  • Purchasing
  • Contractors
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Education, training and awareness
  • Communication
  • Document and record control
  • Monitoring and measurement
  • Incident investigation
  • Audits
  • Corrective actions
  • Management review and follow-up

To meet the standard's requirements, businesses of all sizes are free to devise their own procedures or systems for each of these areas, as long as the steps can be documented and audited.

Draft copies of the standard and public review response forms are available from the American Industrial Hygiene Association. Call (703) 846-0793 or visit www.aiha.org.

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