ASSE Plays Role in ANSI/OSHA Agreement

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) participated in the task force to frame the recently revised agreement between ANSI and OSHA.

In the development stages of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-OSHA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Deputy Executive Director/Director of Professional Affairs Tom Bresnahan, chaired a task force to frame the revised agreement between ANSI and OSHA.

The purpose of the MOU is to complement the service of both organizations in various areas of the standards arena.

Taking this draft ANSI and OSHA staffs crafted a document, which arrived at a consensus meeting each other''s apparent needs.

ASSE said that while some believe the MOU could have gone further and been more definitive, the agreement was signed on Jan. 19, by outgoing OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress and ANSI CEO and President Mark Hurwitz.

As a result of the MOU, ANSI and OSHA will work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to coordinate federal activities in voluntary standards and to ensure adequate representation of U.S. interests in international standards organizations.

ASSE''s policy and view has been to urge the agency to use national consensus standards to jump-start OSHA rulemaking or reference and use these standards.

Bresnahan said he hopes that OSHA would find places for ANSI representatives on its advisory and negotiated rulemaking committees.

However, he pointed out, "only through the implementation group, appointed by both ANSI and OSHA, will the high aspirations of the MOU become reality to prevent injury, illness and fatalities."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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