ASSP releases new standard for safety and health measures

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The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has released a new voluntary consensus standard for measuring health and safety performance. the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASSP Z16.1-2022, Safety and Health and Performance Measuresupdates a standard (ANSI Z16.1) first published in the 1960s as “Method of Recording and Measuring Work Injury Experience”.

The updated Z16.1 standard balances risk management factors and safety management systems, according to the ASSP, by incorporating advanced, delayed and impact measures. Lagging metrics include after-the-fact data such as injury and illness statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Leading indicators track preventive measures, which the ASSP considers predictive and incentive-based.

“Relying solely on overdue measures does not improve workplace safety,” said Alexi Carli, MS, CSP, chairman of the Z16 committee, in a statement.

“We need a comprehensive and systematic way to influence what happens while understanding how and why it happens. The balanced approach of this standard measures actions that drive improvement. It’s a major development that can help businesses thrive, especially in today’s challenging environment.

“Occupational safety and health professionals are strategic business partners,” Carli added, “and the new standard empowers them to help business leaders achieve greater organizational effectiveness and improve resilience. .”

The ASSP’s Z16.1 product page describes the standard as defining “the requirements and expectations for organizations to establish effective measurement systems that assess safety and health performance, reduce risk, identify gaps in health and safety management systems and drive the necessary improvements”.

The ASSP has also published revised versions of two other voluntary consensus standards:

Airborne hazards of confined spaces occur in many industries and workplaces, and falls are a leading cause of accidental death. OSHA has federal occupational safety and health standards for confined spaces requiring a permit (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.146) and walkable work surfaces (§1910.22).

However, the ASSP argues that industry consensus standards fill the gaps left by regulatory requirements. Federal regulations are slow to change and are often outdated, the group argues, and compliance with federal regulations is insufficient to protect workers.

The ASSP is a professional security organization, as well as a standards body. It has 36,000 professionals worldwide.

Last year, the ASSP criticized OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to vaccinate or test for COVID-19 for exempting employers with fewer than 100 employees. The group called for a risk assessment approach to vaccination or testing requirements rather than tying requirements to employer size.

OSHA withdrew the ETS for all private sector employers on Jan. 26 after the U.S. Supreme Court granted an indefinite judicial stay of the state of emergency. The majority of the Court found that OSHA exceeded the authority granted by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act when it issued the ETS.

In 2019, the ASSP published guidelines for employers regarding the management of incidents involving active shooters. Recommendations included determining facility vulnerabilities, hardening sites, training and exercises, and coordinating with local emergency response agencies.

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