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100 years

WHAT ARE STANDARDS?

  • In addition to setting occupational and safety criteria, standards play a major role in everyone’s day-to-day activities.  A standard is defined as a degree or level of requirement, excellence, or attainment; widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence; an acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; and/or a criterion. There are standards for a variety of products – from refrigerators, to bicycle helmets, to goggles, to workers’ footwear – all aimed at improving safety and quality of life and at the same time enhancing business competitiveness nationally and globally.
  • Occupational safety and health standards, of which the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) plays a major role, work to ensure that all workers have safe and healthy working conditions.
  • Standards are developed by governmental and non-governmental bodies through a voluntary national consensus process involving experts, scientific and statistical facts, review of hazards and more.
  • ASSE participates in the development and maintenance of key privately-developed safety standards in two ways: by serving as the secretariat for 11 standards committees and by having ASSE representatives on more than 40 other safety standards committees. These activities make a significant contribution to establishing the safety profession’s body of knowledge.
  • The ASSE Standards Development Committee (SDC) is responsible for overseeing ASSE's standards activities. All such standards activities are done within the framework established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the development of consensus standards.
  • The ASSE SDC consists of up to seven members appointed to the committee based on their broad experience in safety and their specific expertise in the development of standards. This committee meets periodically to review current activities of ASSE's representatives on various standards writing committees and to establish the Society's policies with regard to consensus safety standards.
  • For more information on ASSE standards and standards development projects visit: http://www.asse.org/publications/standards/secretariats.php

ASSE SERVES AS SECRETARIAT FOR 11 STANDARDS PROJECTS

As secretariat for 11 standards projects, ASSE organizes the committees that develop and maintain the standard(s), ensures that the process of revision is timely and in accordance with ANSI procedures, and publishes the final product of the consensus process. Over the years, ASSE has published more than 60 standards with several additional ones under development and in the planning stages for future development.

ASSE serves as secretariat for the following committees:  

ASSE previously served as the secretariat for the Eye and Face Protection Committee, Z87, and the Ladder Safety Committee, A14; and continues publishing two Z87 standards-- one for historical purposes only.

INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

With the globalization of the economy, there is an increasing reliance on international standards for both trade and safety at work. Participation on an International Standards Organization’s (ISO) U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) enables U.S. interests, including users, manufacturers and regulators, to present a U.S. perspective on workplace safety to the global community.

The U.S. TAG operates on at least three levels:

  •  A TAG develops U.S. positions on various proposed international standards, as well as develops alternative proposals for standards.
  • A TAG, through a delegation of representatives, has a seat at the table of an ISO subcommittee responsible for specific topics such as fall protection, risk management and road safety.
  • Individual members of a TAG participate in the working groups of a subcommittee where the language in the standards is crafted and fine-tuned for an international audience.  

ASSE is the Administrator for the U.S. TAG to the ISO on fall protection, risk management and road safety, through ANSI, who is the U.S. voting representative to the ISO. Official votes on all such standards are cast by ANSI. For more information on U.S. TAG’s visit www.ustag.org.

ASSE Administrator of the U.S. TAG on Fall Protection

  • ANSI accredited the U.S. TAG on Fall Protection in October, 1999, with ASSE designated as the TAG Administrator. The U.S. TAG consists of more than 20 entities with an interest in fall protection, including governmental agencies, users of fall arrest systems, professional safety societies, manufacturers of fall arrest equipment, and employers of those who use the equipment. The group develops recommendations for the U.S. position on international fall protection standards developed by the ISO’s Technical Committee 94 Subcommittee 4.
 
ASSE Administrator of the U.S. TAG on Risk Management
  • ASSE serves as the U.S. TAG to the new ISO Technical Management Board Working Group (ISO/TMB/RM) on Risk Management. Voting ISO countries approved the creation of this standards project during 2003-2004. The U.S. TAG for Risk Management uses a consensus process to notify ANSI of how the U.S. should vote and comment to ISO (as ANSI is the voting organization for the U.S.) and is currently developing the ISO 31000 series of risk management standards.

ASSE Administrator of the U.S. TAG on Road Safety

  • The accreditation of the U.S. TAG to ISO/PC 241, Road Traffic Safety Management System, with ASSE serving as TAG Administrator was approved by ANSI on November 24, 2008.  The TAG administrator functions in the same way as a secretariat of an ANSI committee. A consensus process is used to notify ANSI of how the U.S. should vote and comment to ISO since ANSI is the voting organization for the U.S.

ASSE SITS ON SEVERAL STANDARDS WRITING COMMITTEES

ASSE is represented on more than 40 committees that develop and maintain close to 100 safety standards. In their respective positions, ASSE representatives attend meetings of their assigned committee, review written proposals to add to, delete or change a safety standard, and vote on the final approval of a standard. All such representatives are volunteers.

A GLOBAL SOCIETY

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information about ASSE or ASSE voluntary consensus standards please go to www.asse.org.