ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: From Office Lighting to Snow Throwers

New York, Dec 23, 2002

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, ANSI Online will publish, on an ongoing basis, a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Office Lighting

In the midst of the sometimes-gray days and early nights of winter, lighting in offices is important for workers' comfort, productivity and even good spirits. The The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, is responsible for a standard that provides guidelines and recommendations for the lighting of office spaces. The latest version of this standard, BSR/IESNA RP-1-2000, Recommended Practice on Office Lighting, has just been completed and is currently under public review

The new version includes practical information on technical issues such as lighting quality and quantity needs, environmental factors and energy management. It also provides tips for using lighting to design a pleasant office environment. The standard summarizes, "Both visibility values and aesthetic values (worker perceptions and mood) must coalesce for successful office lighting."

Review copies of BSR/IESNA RP-1-2000 may be obtained from Rita Harrold at 212-248-5000 ext. 115 or email:

Snow Throwers

Snow throwers (blowers) are designed to easily manage one of winter's major challenges: snow removal. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an ANSI-accredited standards developer, has enhanced consumer protection with a standard that identifies and minimizes safety risks associated with the machines.

The standard, which is currently being revised and updated, is referred to as ANSI/OPEI B71.3-1995, Snow Throwers - Safety Specifications. It addresses safety requirements for lever-steered ride-on snow throwers, walk-behind power snow throwers, ride-on power snow throwers, lawn ride-on tractors with attachments, and lawn and garden tractors with attachments that are used around consumers' homes. Although all ANSI standards are voluntary, OPEI reports that "virtually all manufacturers" of these types of snow throwers abide by this standard. (Hand-held snow throwers and machines produced and distributed for commercial use by professional operators are not included.)

It is imperative that snow throwers are not only manufactured properly but used safely as well. OPEI's standard not only includes stipulations for the manufacturers, but also safety instructions for the end-user, which should be printed in the operator's manual and also attached to the snow thrower as a durable label. In addition, the OPEI website has additional tips for safe snow thrower operation, including adamant warnings that machines should be turned off and removed from the power source before the user attempts any repairs.

This "standards snapshot" was made possible by the steady stream of press information disseminated by standards developing organizations to keep the ANSI Federation abreast of their achievements. As the Institute receives news of published voluntary standards and voluntary standards initiatives with broad appeal and impact, similar articles will be posted to the ANSI Online News page. Please continue to forward your updates to the Communications and Public Relations department at (f) 212.398.0023 or (e) For additional information on the wide array of standards applications, see the Media Tips and Case Studies section of the Institute's website.

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