1800 East Oakton Street
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018-2187
FAX 847.296.3769

January 16, 2003

Kathleen M. Rest, PhD, MPA
Deputy Director
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20201

RE: Referencing Z490.1 in NIOSH Communications

Dear Dr. Rest:

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is the Secretariat for the American National Standards Institute Z490.1 Standard entitled "Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training." The standard, approved in July 2001, sets accepted practices for safety, health and environmental (SH&E) training to help employers and consumers select quality safety and health training materials, instructors and other program components. Z490.1 is also used to audit, monitor, evaluate and analyze the programs of training providers as well as the employee training activities of corporations and government entities seeking third-party review. Both a copy of Z490.1 and a summary are enclosed.

As you well know, federal agencies were encouraged to utilize consensus standards by both Congress in Public Law 104-113, "The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995," and the Office of Management and Budget in its Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities."

ASSE knows that you share with our members the understanding that standards in occupational safety and health save lives. Training is a key element to ensuring that workers protect themselves and others in the workplace. By raising awareness of the availability of Z490.1, ASSE believes that occupational safety, health and environment training of workers can improve and, thus, help save lives and prevent injuries.

To that end, ASSE respectfully asks that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) help further awareness of Z490.1 through its activities, including

  • referencing Z490.1 in any future publications involving occupational safety, health and environmental training, and

  • providing appropriate links on the NIOSH web site that would encourage those people seeking information on training to consider availing themselves of the valuable information provided in Z490.1.

Including links to Z490.1 in the various excellent training-related materials offered by NIOSH would only add to NIOSH's often repeated message that training is essential for safe and healthy workplaces. Included here is a link that, if placed at appropriate places on the NIOSH web site, would automatically bring individuals to the place on ASSE's web site where Z490.1 could be purchased --

As always, ASSE appreciates NIOSH's leadership in providing the research necessary to further the health and safety of America's workers and greatly appreciates your time in helping us encourage reliance on Z490.1 as an important tool to improve workplace safety and health.


Mark D. Hansen, PE, CSP

Click here to go back to the ASSE Federal Statements and Testimony page.