Ergonomic Standard Submitted to ANSI

The voluntary consensus standard Reduction of Musculoskeletal Problems in Construction (ANSI/ASSE A10.40-200x) – aimed at reducing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among construction workers – has been submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for final review.

In 2006, the ANSI A10.40 Committee, a subcommittee of the ANSI A10 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) on Construction and Demolition Operations, balloted the proposed standard to A10 ASC for approval. Following approval by the committee, six organizations filed an appeal challenging the standard’s adoption, and a hearing was held May 1 to hear the formal complaints.

On May 25, the appeals panel unanimously found that the appeal complaints were without merit and that the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) complied with the ANSI due process requirements in developing the standard.

“These consensus guidelines could help reduce these workplace injuries,” said ASSE Council on Practices and Standards Vice President James Smith. “Our members work with employers and employees daily to increase workplace safety by developing and implementing effective ergonomic solutions – solutions that can remove barriers to quality, productivity and human performance by fitting products, tasks and environments to people, which in turn can save millions of dollars.”

The A10.40 standard has been sent to the ANSI Board of Standards Review. The review can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days, and appeals still can be filed during this time.

Standard to Provide Strategies for MSD Reduction

Some of the potential solutions in the standard aimed at reducing the incidence of MSDs include risk elimination, substitution, use of engineering controls, administrative changes, training, use of protective equipment and assessment of individuals’ physical capabilities.

The standard also notes that construction workers and supervisors should be trained to recognize risk factors and ways to reduce the risk of MSDs through proper work techniques. Employee participation and an injury management program are discussed in the standard.

In addition, the standard includes a risk assessment guide, a construction MSD problem reduction checklist, a return-to-work checklist, a list of resources, key terms and definitions and a list of non-occupational risk factors associated with work-related MSDs such as age, strength and gender.

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