ASSE Announces New Construction Safety Standard

To prevent injuries and illness among construction workers exposed to hazards associated with the installation and extraction of piles during construction and demolition operations, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently announced the approval of the new voluntary consensus standard “Safety Requirements for Pile Installation and Extraction Operations” (ANSI/ASSE A10.19-2008).

According to the standard, a pile refers to a concrete, steel or wood column that is driven or otherwise introduced into the soil, usually to carry a vertical load or to provide lateral support. This new standard is one of a series of voluntary consensus standards focusing on construction and demolition operations. The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) approved the standard March 24, 2008.

“Preventing injuries and illnesses among construction and demolition workers is the goal of the A10 standard committee,” said A10 Committee Chair Richard F. King. “Voluntary national consensus standards, such as the A10.19 standard, offer a balanced perspective based on the insights of the final users and the opinions of professionals who work at all levels of public and private sectors in technology development, safety and health, manufacturing, training, financial analysis, personnel and academia.”

“The value of workplace safety to workers in the construction industry and their families can not be overstated,” said A10.19 Subcommittee Chair Philip Colleran. “The new A10.19 consensus standard establishes the necessary safety requirements to prevent injuries that are associated with pile installation and extraction hazards, helping construction and demolition workers to return home safely every day.”

According to the 2006 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, construction accounted for 1,226 fatal work injuries, the most of any industry sector. In addition, the report indicated that the construction and extraction occupations, along with the transportation and material moving occupations, accounted for almost half of all fatal work injuries in 2006. Furthermore, construction and extraction worker fatalities rose 6 percent in 2006.

The A10.19-2008 standard applies to employment and places of employment where workers may be exposed to pile installation and extraction operation hazards during construction and demolition operations. This includes piles made of hot and cold rolled steel, concrete, wood and composite materials. This standard does not apply to structural steel erection covered in ANSI/ASSE A10.13 or ANSI/ASSE A10.16 voluntary consensus standards.

ASSE serves as the secretariat for the A10 Accredited Standards Committee on construction and demolition operations. The A10 standards serve as guides to contractors, labor and equipment manufacturers in the construction and demolition industry.

The standard will be available in both print and electronic format. For more information on A10.19 or other ANSI/ASSE construction and demolition related safety standards, visit ASSE’s Web site, http://www.asse.org.

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