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ASSE opposes federal rulemaking move, backs consensus standards instead

June 17, 2012
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ASSECiting the negative impact it could have on occupational safety and health, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) said it strongly opposes action by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) that could harm the future development of timely and effective voluntary national consensus safety and health standards.

At issue is whether and how voluntary consensus standards should be made available when cited in a federal regulation.

"ASSE remains concerned the proposal overlooks the value consensus standards play in protecting workers, ignores the positive conversation among key stakeholders that is already changing how voluntary consensus standards are being made available, and, ultimately, threatens the ability of standards development organizations (SDO) like ASSE from hosting the development of such standards," according to a statement by the group.

ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and represents thousands of EHS professionals worldwide. It is an SDO and is Secretariat for nine American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committees responsible for more than 100 occupational safety and health standards including those for motor vehicle operations, fall protection, risk management, construction and demolition, confined spaces and much more. These standards help employers and employees address hazards and implement best practices.

“Through the well-established ANSI consensus standard development process, our members, other safety and health professionals, industry, trade groups and other stakeholders are able to come together to develop standards that can readily incorporate the latest knowledge about how to protect workers,” ASSE President Terrie S. Norris, CSP, ARM wrote. “These standards are able to reflect current knowledge far beyond OSHA’s ability to do so.”

For a full copy of ASSE’s comments please go to www.asse.org/en/index.php/govt_affairs/asse-opposes-effort-to-undercut-development-of-independent-consensus-standards/ or to www.asse.org. ASSE standards information can be found at www.asse.org/publications/standards/index.php.

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