President Signs Legislation Protecting Standards Development

July 13, 2004
President George Bush signed the "Standards Development Organization (SDO) Advancement Act of 2003" (H.R. 1086), which was passed by Congress last month.

The bill, sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), was introduced in 2003 and signed into law by Bush on June 22. H.R. 1086/S. 1799 encourages the development and promulgation of voluntary consensus standards by providing relief under the antitrust laws to SDOs with respect to conduct engaged in for the purpose of developing voluntary consensus standards, and for other purposes. Sponsored by Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R, Wisc.), the House suspended the rules and agreed to a Senate (conference committee) amendment by voice vote.

The "Standards Development Organization Advancement Act of 2003" amends the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993 to provide that the conduct of an SDO while engaged in a standards development activity shall be subject to a rule of reason standard in any action under the antitrust laws. Under the bill, "standards development activity" is defined as an action for the purpose of developing, promulgating, revising, interpreting or maintaining a voluntary consensus standard, or using such a standard in conformity assessment activities, including actions related to the intellectual property policies of the SDO.

The bill excludes as such an activity:

  • Exchanging information among competitors relating to cost, sales, profitability, prices, marketing or distribution of any product, process, or service that is not reasonably required for the purpose of developing or promulgating a voluntary consensus standard;
  • Entering into any agreement or engaging in any other conduct that would allocate a market with a competitor;
  • Entering into any agreement or conspiracy that would set or restrain prices of any good or service.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has come out in support of the legislation. ASSE is the secretariat for a number of ANSI committees and projects, including the A10 Safety Requirements for Construction and Demolition Operations group of standards, the A1264 Protection of Floor and Wall Openings standard, the Z15 Motor Vehicle Fleet Safety standard, the Z117 Confined Spaces standard, the Z244 Lockout/Tagout standard, the Z359 Fall Protection standard, the Z390 Competence and Certification in the Safety Profession standard, and the Z690 project on protecting workers dealing with mold.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!