ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

Standards Keep You Safe and Sound during National Safety Month

New York, Jun 24, 2014

Man in a hard hatJune marks the annual observance of National Safety Month, providing an important opportunity to focus on significant safety issues and needs facing individuals and organizations within the United States. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Federation of members are proud to support the development of standards promoting safety in all aspects of daily life.

For many families, the kitchen serves as the center of the home, providing a place to gather, chat, and enjoy time together while preparing meals. But kitchens can also pose a number of potential safety hazards, from knife-related cuts to burns from stoves and hot water to potential electrical risks associated with plug-in kitchen devices. An international standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provides important safety guidance for electrically powered kitchen machines. IEC 60335-2-14 Ed. 5.1 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-14: Particular requirements for kitchen machines, covers devices with a rated voltage of no more than 250 volts intended for household use, including can openers, knife sharpeners, potato peelers, and food processors. The standard was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. The U.S. holds the Secretariat of IEC TC 61, with UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), an ANSI member and audited designator, serving as the delegated secretary and associated U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator for the committee.

When it comes to yard work and lawn care, safety is an important consideration, especially when making use of lawnmowers. ANSI B71.1-2012, Consumer Turf Care Equipment - Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers - Safety Specifications, sets down safety specifications for ride-on and pedestrian-controlled lawn mowers intended for consumer use. The standard was developed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member.

Safety in the workplace is an important priority for employers of all sorts, though the specific safety measures needed can different significantly from one organization to the next. One safety concern that is nearly universal, however, is the risk associated with slipping and falling on floors and other work surfaces in office, commercial, and industrial environments. ANSI/ASSE A1264.2-2006, Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces, provides guidelines intended to reduce slipping hazards and allow for the effective implementation of related test procedures. This standard was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

Worker handling grapesANSI also supports safety efforts through its role as an internationally recognized accreditation body that assess the competencies of certification bodies of product/process/services that certify the conformance of food and food-related products/process in accordance with certification programs. The ANSI accreditation process is in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems (new ISO/IEC 17065). ANSI accreditation offers a formal, third-party process that reviews the competence of the certification body to implement certification programs on bottled water and packaged ice, drinking water additives, drinking water treatment units, and food service equipment. ANSI also provides accreditation services for specific food-related sector programs such as SQF, BRC, GLOBALG.A.P, PrimusGFS, CanadaGAP, IFS, and the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

In addition, laws have been passed in Arizona, California, and Illinois requiring training providers issuing personnel certificates to food safety handlers to be accredited under the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP). This oversight is intended to improve public health and strengthen food safety measures in both states. ANSI-CAP accredits organizations that issue education and training certificates to the workforce, and was the first program of its kind to offer a formal, third-party process for review and recognition of quality certificate programs. For more information on ANSI’s accreditation services, visit

Whether you’re sharpening knives in your kitchen at home or strolling down an office hallway, voluntary standards and conformance programs help keep you safe.

For more information about National Safety Month 2014, visit its official website.