American Society of Safety Engineers

Safety Standards Fact Sheet


  • 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, in 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. Non-governmental standards are developed through a voluntary national consensus process involving experts, scientific and statistical facts, review of hazards and more. Governmental standards are not voluntary and are not written in a consensus process most of the time.
  • 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:

As secretariat for 11 standards projects, ASSE organizes the committees that develop and maintain the standard(s), ensures that the revision process 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:   (Click Committee Names to expand/contract)