U.S. Submits First Safety Management Standard

Published by the American National Standards Institute and the American Industrial Hygiene Association, ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 provides a new standard for


Published by the American National Standards Institute and the American Industrial Hygiene Association, ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 provides a new standard for health and safety management systems. Several years were devoted to its formulation before ANSI finally adopted it. That the standard is a voluntary guideline is noteworthy; it is not a regulation, unless the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Mine Safety and Health Administration later incorporates it into a regulation by reference.

Although a horde of health and safety management standards is currently available, ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 marks the first uniform U.S. standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS). Previous Health and Safety Management Standards have been published worldwide, including Britain’s OHSAS 18000 standards series as well as Australian and New Zealand standards AS/NZS 4801 and 4804. In the commercial and academic arenas, company programs have been proudly placed on the Internet, while any university with a safety curriculum has published its own standards, and every safety professor seems to have a book or lengthy paper on the subject.

ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 is written in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) format, although ISO historically has adopted British Standards Û and the existing British Standard 18000 series covers the same area. Companies will face significant administrative hurdles when they attempt to implement ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005, as is the case with many ISO and British standards; however, the task will be considerably easier if an entity is already ISO 9000 certified.

Previously, OSHA published recommendations concerning health and safety management regulation, which continue to serve as guidelines in the absence of formal regulatory approval. OSHA now promotes its safety and health management systems e-tool at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/safetyhealth/. An employer’s implementation of the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program requires a 14-step management guide on the basis of which VPP designation is achieved.

The following are key elements of the new ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 Standard:

  • Management Leadership and Employee Participation

    In a relatively routine portion of the standard, management is required to establish, implement, and maintain an OHSMS; supply a documented occupational health and safety policy; provide leadership; and, assume overall responsibility for the system. Slightly more burdensome is a currently accepted practice, reminiscent of the Total Quality Management movement, implementing processes to ensure effective OHSMS participation by all employees.

  • Planning

    A process is presented similar to the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) system for large processing facilities, known as Management of Change (MOC). While PSM has been widely implemented in petrochemical and chemical processing plants, it typically has not been applied to concrete production. Its adaptation to concrete-producing facilities, therefore, may entail a significant learning curve.

    The system requires a thorough documented review of all new equipment or processes to assess any risks associated with the proposed change. Such a review must necessarily include identification of potential hazards and exposures, measurement data, sources and frequency of exposure, types of hazard-control measures, and potential severity of identified hazards. A change of equipment in kind, as is experienced in routine maintenance and parts replacement, would not trigger the review process.

    Fortunately, the standard is not prescriptive in terms of risk assessment, allowing any one of numerous means to evaluate risk. Methodologies may vary from the use of a carefully developed risk-assessment matrix that measures severity against the likelihood of occurrence to the formal British Standard Risk Assessment found in BS 8800. Yet, the standard does identify steps in hazard analysis and risk assessment Û consistent with BS 8800 requirements Û that include identifying the hazards; defining possible failure modes; estimating the likelihood of occurrence, frequency, severity, and duration of exposure; ranking hazards; and, prioritizing OHSMS plans based on these findings.

    Other techniques identified by the standard include Îwhat-ifÌ analysis, safety reviews and operations analyses, checklists, hazard and operability analysis, failure modes and effects assessment, and fault-tree analysis. To implement and maintain compliance with the standard, the average concrete producer may require the assistance of a certified safety professional. Using a carefully designed risk-assessment matrix may also satisfy this portion of the standard without undue complication.

  • Implementation and Operation

    Four parts for the implementation and operation of the standard are detailed, including a hierarchy of controls, a design review, MOC and procurement. The hierarchy of controls identifies a systematic, six-step list of risk-reduction measures to be implemented in a specific order, as follows:

    1. Elimination of the hazard
    2. Substitution of a less hazardous material, process operation or equipment
    3. Engineering controls
    4. Warnings
    5. Administrative control
    6. Personal protective equipment

    Once the hierarchy of controls has been applied, the resulting solution must yield a satisfactory or acceptable level of numerical risk in order for the operational element to be suitable for use.

    MOC risk reviews are required to identify and quantify risks as well as provide a system for the reduction of hazards associated with (1) new processes or operations at the design stage, and (2) changes to existing operations, products, services or suppliers. Triggers for the reviews include new or modified technology, equipment or facilities; new or revised procedures, work practices, design specifications or standards; different types and grades of raw materials; significant changes to the site’s organizational structure and staffing, including the use of contractors; modification of health and safety devices; and, new health and safety standards or regulations.

    Comprising an entirely thorough process, the risk assessment triggered by any one of the specified conditions is multifaceted as well. The detailed review includes identification of tasks and related health and safety hazards; consideration of hazards associated with human factors; consideration of control measures; review of applicable regulations, codes and standards; and, a determination of the appropriate scope and degree of the design review and management of change.

  • Evaluation and Corrective Action

    Management is required to conduct regular evaluations, including audits and corrective-action documentation. For transparency in audit results, communications are to be solicited from employees, supervisors, and employee representatives. Although audits are intended to be systems oriented rather than compliance oriented, a systems audit would necessarily identify noncompliance with the standard.

  • Management Review

    The standard specifies an annual review of the system by top management to determine its continued suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness. A series of procedural steps for the system’s evaluation is identified, which would likely follow the evaluation and corrective action audit(s) described in the previous step. The evaluation could be conducted in such a way as to identify the information necessary for a management review of the system.

Unclear is why a new standard was created in view of plentiful existing, generally accepted standards. While the new measure provides a thorough U.S. ANSI standard, its limitations are also evident: ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 details a micro-managed and somewhat unwieldy management system. As a uniform organizational and company management system published by a standards association, it shares the weaknesses of government regulations, i.e., adopting the standard is not as fluid a process as the association or agency would have us believe. As a uniform code in the U.S., the standard may fail to stay abreast of evolving management concepts, thereby inhibiting safety program development among more progressive companies and freezing the normal evolution of management policy as well as the ability of independent thinkers to develop new trends and methods. Care should be exercised in revising a company’s management system, exclusively adopting a BS, ANSI, AS/NZS, OSHA or other acronymic-identified management system, while eliminating fluid internal processes yielding excellent results. Clearly, the costs and benefits of such changes should be considered prior to the adoption of a new management system. For companies seeking a traditional and thorough management process, however, ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005 may be the standard of choice.


A motor vehicle standard Û ANSI/ASSE Z15.1 Û proposed by a joint committee of the American National Standards Institute and the American Society of Safety Engineers is gaining in popularity, contends the Journal of Professional Safety in its February issue. As the proposed standard targets motor vehicles owned or operated by organizations, delivery vehicles would be subject to its application, as well as company cars and pickup trucks. The standard addresses the following:

  • Distracted, aggressive and impaired driving
  • Driver recruitment, assessment and selection
  • Incident review and data analysis
  • Nomenclature and definition for management of motor vehicle safety programs
  • Occupant protection
  • Vehicle inspection and maintenance

According to the Journal of Professional Safety, all necessary paperwork has been submitted to ANSI for formal approval. While the standard is not enforceable by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration, its adoption by reference is a distinct possibility. More information on Z15.1 is available at www.asse.org/Z15htm.