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ANSI rejects appeal to withdraw construction industry MSD standard (3/17)

March 17, 2008
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The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Standards Review (BSR) March 13 rejected the appeal brought by the Construction Industry Employer Coalition to withdraw the adoption of the approved voluntary consensus standard “Reduction of Musculoskeletal Problems in Construction” (ANSI/ASSE A10.40-2007). The standard aims to reduce musculoskeletal problems/disorders (MSDs) in the construction industry.

In 2006, the ANSI/ASSE A10.40 Committee, a subcommittee of the ANSI/ASSE A10 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) on Construction and Demolition Operations, balloted the proposed standard to the A10 for approval. Following the standard’s approval, the CIEC, a coalition of five trade associations of U.S. construction interests, filed an appeal challenging the standard’s adoption. In May 2007, the appeals panel found unanimously that the appeal complaints were without merit and that the Secretariat, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), complied with the ANSI due process requirements in developing the standard. The standard was approved by ANSI’s BSR on July 23, 2007.

The CIEC subsequently appealed the BSR decision, but the BSR has determined that its original action to approve the A10.40 as an American National Standard stands.

The ANSI BSR denied the appeal on the grounds that insufficient evidence was provided by the CIEC in support of its appeal to demonstrate that the ASC 10 Committee failed to obtain a consensus of materially affected interests with respect to the A10.40 Standard, that the committee was unbalanced or dominated by one interest group, that the committee failed adequately to respond to comments or that any procedural requirements were violated or overlooked.

Some of the potential solutions in the standard aimed at reducing incidence of MSDs include risk elimination, substitution, use of engineering controls, administrative changes, training, use of protective equipment and assessment of individuals’ physical capabilities.

The standard also notes that construction workers and supervisors should be trained to recognize risk factors and ways to reduce the risk of MSDs through proper work techniques. A10.40 also includes a risk assessment guide, a construction MSD problem checklist, a return-to-work checklist, a list of resources, key terms and definitions and a list of non-occupational risk factors associated with work-related MSDs such as age, strength and gender.

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