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ANSI Z10


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ANSI Z10 is the United States voluntary consensus standard serving as a tool for organizations to design, implement, and verify the effectiveness of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). As with most OHSMSs, ANSI Z10 follows the continuous improvement, Plan-Do-Check-Act, process. The standard outlines the process for organizations to establish comprehensive written policies, procedures and processes; consistently implement said policies and procedures to monitor the effectiveness of implementation efforts; and take actions to address performance gaps. ANSI Z10 provides the framework for organizations to manage risk through five key elements: Management Leadership and Employee Participation, Planning, Implementation and Operation, Evaluation and Corrective Action, and Management Review.

ANSI Z10 requirements are similar to other safety and health management systems. A minor difference is ANSI Z10 focuses on processes, and is more of a performance standard versus a specification standard. With the exception of an annual management review, ANSI Z10 does not specify the frequency of monitoring and measuring activities or minimum requirement for injury and illness rate. The standard does not omit the requirements, as each requirement is a component of maintaining a mature OHSMS. It takes into consideration organizations will conform to requirements of the standard using methods best fitting the organization. Organizations desiring to implement ANSI Z10 should not question the scope or comprehensiveness of the standard. According to the ANSI Z10 Standard, “ANSI Z10 uses recognized management system principles in order to be compatible with quality and environmental management system standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000.”

Management Leadership & Employee Participation

An effective OHSMS is unattainable without active participation by leadership and employees. ANSI Z10 requires leadership to put forth and earnest efforts to identify the following:

  • Ensuring goals and objectives are in place to address risks
  • Establishing a safety policy requiring conformance with legal requirements
  • Allocating resources to support safety and health integration into business processes
  • Conducting annual reviews of the OHSMS
  • Ensuring employees are engaged in every facet of the OHSMS, including strategic planning.
  • Considering employees as consultants, partnering with leadership through every phase of the continuous improvement cycle to effectively manage risks.

Planning

ANSI Z10 outlines the need to have a structured process for OHSMS planning. Risks should not be identified haphazardly; rather organizations should have well-defined methods for identifying potentials risks, prioritizing risk, and developing viable timeframe-based plans for risk mitigation and control. Organizations should review the OHSMS plan periodically and make updates as appropriate.

Implementation & Operation

Implementation and Operation serves as the core of the OHSMS. The Implementation and Operation element focuses on conducting risk assessments; controlling hazards and preventing the introduction of new risks into the organization by the following:

  • Management of change process including design reviews, acquisitions, contractor oversight, etc.
  • Selection of appropriate controls using the hierarchy of controls
  • Comprehensive emergency procedures
  • Effective communication and training
  • Documents and records.

Evaluation & Corrective Action

Evaluation and Corrective Action focuses on processes an organization needs to have in place to ensure the day-to-day sustainment of the OHSMS and evaluation of the effectiveness of controls. Some of the activities the ANSI Z10 standard mentions include safety inspections, audits, incident investigation, health exposure assessment, injury and illness rates, etc.

Management Review

The last element of ANSI Z10 is Management Review. This element requires management to review OHSMS performance annually. The review must consider the success the organization experienced managing risks, the identification of performance gaps or non-conformance with the ANSI Z10 requirements. During the review, management should evaluate the status of corrective and preventive actions, the extent of employee participation and incorporation of employee feedback, and whether or not resources are adequate to support the OHSMS.