New and Revised Standards Help Employers Better Protect Workers

November 4, 2021

3 Min Read
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PARK RIDGE, Illinois  — As a global leader in the development of workplace safety and health standards, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has published several new and revised voluntary national consensus standards that help employers minimize on-the-job risks to better protect their workers. 

“Standards lead organizations big and small in the same direction to achieve safer and healthier workplaces,” said ASSP President Brad Giles, P.E., CSP, STS, FASSP, GIOSH. “They are a cornerstone of a successful business, setting minimum requirements that help maximize operations, increase the bottom line and ultimately save lives.” 

With regulatory requirements being slow to change and often out of date, compliance is not sufficient to protect workers. Voluntary national consensus standards provide the latest expert guidance and fill gaps where federal regulations don’t exist. Leading companies rely on them to drive continuous improvement and injury prevention. 

ASSP’s broad collection of new and revised workplace safety standards focus on psychological safety and health, fall protection, construction and demolition operations, and prevention through design. 

New standards recently published 

ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45003-2021, Occupational Health and Safety Management – Psychological Health and Safety at Work – Guidelines for Managing Psychosocial Risks, provides guidance for managing psychosocial risk and promoting well-being at work as part of a safety and health management system based on ISO 45001. 

ANSI/ASSP Z359.9-2021, Personal Equipment for Protection Against Falls – Descent Controllers, sets minimum requirements for the design and use of descent controllers in rope access, rope descent and evacuation. 

ANSI/ASSP Z459.1-2021, Safety Requirements for Rope Access Systems, provides fundamental criteria for establishing and evaluating rope access systems for work at height. The best practices are applicable where ropes are suspended from or connected to a structure to protect a worker from falling. Requirements include a two-rope system for rope access, full-body harnesses and autolocking connectors with 3,600-pound gates. 

Revised standards recently published 

ANSI/ASSP A10.38-2021, Basic Elements of an Employer’s Program to Provide a Safe and Healthful Work Environment, outlines minimum elements of a program for protecting employees in construction and demolition. 

ANSI/ASSP A10.47-2021, Work Zone Safety for Roadway Construction, sets minimum requirements for workers involved in construction, utility work or maintenance on roads, also aiming to prevent crashes in work zones. 

ANSI/ASSP Z359.11-2021, Safety Requirements for Full Body Harnesses, creates minimum requirements for full-body harnesses commonly used for fall protection, travel restraint and rescue operations. 

ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021, Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems, establishes minimum requirements for self-retracting devices, including self-retracting lanyards. The devices are used where personal protection is needed to prevent falls from height, such as at a rock-climbing facility. The devices are becoming increasingly popular in the fall protection industry, but must be used properly. 

ANSI/ASSP Z590.3-2021, Prevention Through Design Guidelines for Addressing Occupational Hazards and Risks in Design and Redesign Processes, offers guidance on reducing or eliminating occupational safety and health hazards in the design process. It explains how to include prevention through design concepts in a safety and health management system. If worksites are designed from the start with safety in mind, fewer injuries will occur. 

In addition to implementing safety and health standards, all employers are encouraged to regularly conduct workplace risk assessments, which are effective in combatting many safety and health issues across all industries. 

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