OSHA has not been able to get anywhere with a standard outlining safety and health program requirements, and now a voluntary committee is taking up the cause.

The American National Standards Institute Z10 Committee will meet in Alexandria, Va., May 17-18 to consider the make-up of a voluntary safety and health “management systems” standard similar to ISO quality and environmental standards. The committee began its work earlier this year.

Here are some of the building blocks of a possible safety and health program standard:

  • Management commitment and resources

  • Employee participation

  • Health and safety policy

  • Goals and objectives

  • Baseline evaluation and hazard/risk assessment

  • Management system manual and procedures

  • Training

  • Hazard control system

  • Preventive and corrective action system

  • Communication

  • Record management

  • Auditing and self-inspection

  • Incident investigation and root cause analysis

  • Medical program and surveillance

  • Processes for continual improvement and integration

These functions of a program were taken from the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s “Occupational Health and Safety Management System Performance Measurement,” developed in 1999. To comply with a voluntary ANSI health and safety standard, employers would have to document and verify that they have systems in place to address each of these key attributes.

ANSI standards-setting is often a contentious, drawn-out affair, and it could be years, if ever, before voluntary requirements emerge from the Z10 committee’s work.