As the ANSI Z10 committee gets closer to actually crafting language for a voluntary safety and health management systems standard, the list of interested observers keeps growing. The committee is meeting for three days this week (Nov. 19-21) at United Auto Workers headquarters in Detroit to thrash out a 16-page draft document.

The draft standard spells out requirements for management leadership; employee participation; reviewing and prioritizing workplace hazards; action plans and allocating resources; risk controls; training and awareness; communication; audits; incident investigations; and responsibilities and authorities.

Some of these issues trigger shouting matches between industry and labor reps. And the stakes are raised by the possibility of the final ANSI language being adopted as an ISO standard to complement quality and environmental standards. Next would come a legion of ISO-certifying consultants pressing U.S. businesses to document conformance. The result: industry could face a de facto OSHA standard, and consultants would have a field day.

No wonder the Detroit meeting next week will be attended by at least 50 committee members and observers. Watching closely are major Fortune 100 behemoths, trade associations, professional societies, unions, OSHA and NIOSH, and consultants like the ISO Agile Group, DNV and Star Consulting.

The ANSI committee will review the draft standard, definitions, significant issues, suggested revisions, and decide where to go from here: who sees the document now, a final draft strategy, and a timeline for action.

For more information on the ANSI Z10 standard, contact the American Industrial Hygiene Association, (703) 849-8888,