ANSI Board Rejects Appeal to Block Construction MSD Standard

On March 13, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Standards Review (BSR) rejected an appeal to withdraw the adoption of the ANSI/ASSE A10.40-2007 voluntary consensus standard "Reduction of Musculoskeletal Problems in Construction," which aims to reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the construction industry.

The Construction Industry Employer Coalition, a coalition of five trade associations of U.S. construction interests, brought the appeal of the standard's adoption.

The ANSI BSR denied the appeal because the coalition failed to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the ANSI/ASSE A10 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) failed to obtain a consensus of materially affected interests with respect to the A10.40 standard. The BSR found the coalition also failed to demonstrate that the committee was unbalanced or dominated by one interest group. According to the BSR, the coalition also failed to adequately respond to comments, and it found that no procedural requirements were violated or overlooked.

“We are pleased with ANSI Board of Standards Review’s decision to uphold the approval and publication of the A10.40 standard,” said ASSE Vice President, Council on Practices and Standards (CoPS) James D. Smith, CSP. “At ASSE, we are committed to the protection of people, property and the environment and this standard is an excellent step in protecting workers from injury and in helping to create safer and more healthy workplaces.”

“National consensus standards, such as A10.40, reflect 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,” said A10 Committee Chair Richard King, CSP, CRSP. “ This balanced perspective enables standards to be crafted in a manner that benefits and protects standard users.”

The standard focuses on risk elimination, substitution, use of engineering controls, administrative changes, training, use of protective equipment and assessment of individuals’ physical capabilities as ways to reduce the incidence of MSDs.

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 injury management program also are discussed in the standard.

The A10.40 standard includes a risk assessment guide, a construction MSD problem 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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