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AMERICAN SOCIETY
OF SAFETY ENGINEERS
1800 East Oakton Street
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018-2187
847.699.2929
FAX 847.296.3769
www.asse.org

January 28, 2004

R. Alexander Acosta
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P. O. Box 1032
Merrifield, VA. 22116-1032.
Via email: adaanprm.org

RE: CRT Docket No. 2004-DRS01; Comment on ANPRM Concerning Implementation of Revised ADA and ABA Guidelines

Dear Assistant Attorney General Acosta:

On behalf of its 30,000 member safety, health and environmental (SH+E) professionals, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) respectfully asks that the following comments be considered in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) by the Department of Justice to adopt Parts I and III of the revised guidelines implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA), published by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) on July 23, 2004, at 69 FR 44083.

ASSE is concerned that the current proposed guidelines, as reflected in this ANPRM, do not address the important safety issue of

establishing a slip resistance standard for level surfaces. The original guidelines issued to fulfill the requirements of the ADA and ABA required slip resistance coefficients of .6 for level surfaces .8 for ramps. Since then, these standards were withdrawn without replacement and without a testing method for flooring surfaces. In the view of safety professionals, guidelines that give needed access and mobility for individuals with disabilities would be unnecessarily incomplete without floor surface requirements, especially when standards widely accepted by industry through the voluntary consensus process are readily available.

Therefore, ASSE urges that slip resistance guidelines be placed back into the revised guidelines in a final draft through a stated reference to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard A1264.2-2001, Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces , for which ASSE serves as the secretariat for the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee.

A1264.2 establishes the most accepted way to protect persons where there is a potential for slipping and falling as a result of surface characteristics or conditions. It establishes a .5 slip resistance index that, as reflected through its adoption through the consensus process, has been justified by existing science and data. It also establishes a testing method for floor surfaces. This standard was formally approved by ANSI o n June 2, 2001, has been distributed on a national and international level and is recognized in both the public and private sectors.

Including a reference to this standard would be consistent with the intent of Congress when f ederal agencies were urged to utilize consensus standards in Public Law 104-113, "The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995." T he Office of Management and Budget likewise encouraged their adoption in its Circular A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities." This rulemaking provides the Department of Justice with a useful opportunity to reference A1264.2 and, thereby, help ensure that future rulemaking succeeds in providing the access to disabled Americans it intends.

ASSE and its members are ready to assist the Civil Rights Division in any way possible to see that a slip resistance standard becomes part of any future rulemaking on this issue. If a copy of A1264.2 is needed for the sole purpose of aiding Division staff in its examination of this issue, ASSE would be pleased to provide a complimentary copy for staff use only. Please contact Dave Heidorn, Manager of Government Affairs and Policy at 847/768-3406 or dheidorn@asse.org if this or any other information is needed.

Thank you for your careful consideration of ASSE's comments.

Sincerely,

Gene Barfield, CSP
President