If you’re trying to get your company’s safety program to be compliant with workplace health and safety requirements, it’s important to first know what the standards are. While there are thousands of directives maintained by various entities in our country, it is very important to be aware of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards which apply to your specific industry. Here are the top 5 facts to keep in mind when it comes to understanding the relationship between OSHA and ANSI and how they complement and affect one another:
- OSHA’s laws and government standards are mandatory, and legal action can and will be enforced if not followed. However, OSHA typically only sets a general framework to safeguard workers against hazards.
- ANSI is often considered the “gold standard” for safety. These standards are established by private groups made up of industry leaders which provide greater direction, depth and details needed for meeting and exceeding OSHA compliance directives.
- ANSI standards are generally voluntary. However, it is possible that ANSI standards could be made mandatory if they are incorporated by reference. This means that OSHA has cited a specific ANSI standard and then enforces it.
- Your organization can still be cited for not following voluntary ANSI standards. In the event of an OSHA citation, it could be found that although a company did not follow a voluntary ANSI standard, its failure to adopt an industry best practice (found in ANSI) resulted in not abiding by the federal requirement.
- Many times, ANSI standards can be considered too rigorous or expensive for companies to follow; however, OSHA often leaves it up to the company’s discretion to decide how to go about implementing internal safety policies, programs, and procedures. It is imperative to be aware of both the OSHA laws and ANSI standards associated with your industry to be fully compliant.
If you want to take your safety program to the next level by becoming more aware of OSHA laws and the associated ANSI standards for your industry, please reach out to your local STC point of contact or STC’s Business Development Manager, Ryan Brence at (469) 500-2502, who will provide you with additional information. Thank you, and have a great (and safe) day!