On July 25, 2005, ANSI approved a new standard titled Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS). Its designation was ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005. That was a major development. For the first time in the U.S., a national consensus standard was issued for a safety and health management system applicable to organizations of all sizes and types.
Per ANSI requirements, standards are reviewed every 5 years to be revised or reaffirmed. AIHA, then-secretariat, formed a committee to review Z10. The outcome of its work was a revised standard approved on June 27, 2012. Its designation was ANSI/AIHA Z10-2012. Shortly after approval, secretariat was transferred to ASSE.
All persons who give counsel on occupational safety and health management systems should own a copy of this standard and be thoroughly familiar with its content. The 2012 version reflects significant changes and contains valuable support information in the advisory column and the appendixes.
The standard provides senior management with a well-conceived concept and action outline for a safety and health management system. As employers make changes to meet the standard’s requirements, it can be expected that occupational injuries and illnesses will be reduced.
To identify differences and to develop a prioritized improvement plan, SH&E professionals should conduct a gap analysis to compare the elements in existing safety programs, processes or systems with the requirements in Z10. That comparison should be followed by a prioritized action plan for continual improvement.
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