ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ASSE Safety Standards in the Workplace and at Home

New York, Oct 06, 2003

This month, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, held a meeting for dozens of safety professionals from across the U.S. to address the third leading cause of on-the-job deaths – falls. At the ASSE’s headquarters in Des Plaines, IL, the ANSI Z359 Fall Protection Committee met to revise the Z359.1-1992 standards, Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, and will include a new section on a comprehensive managed fall protection program, which covers fall protection training for workers, supervisors, engineers and trainers.

“The revised Z359.1 standard will cover a multitude of fall protection issues from training and fall arrest systems to rescue operations, based off the need to aid workers in all elements of fall protection,” said Z359 Committee Chair and ASSE Senior Vice President Jack H. Dobson Jr.

The standard is currently under committee review and will then go to public review after full committee approval within the year.

October is also National Window Covering Safety Month, and ASSE has teamed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the window covering industry in an effort to educate families on the dangers to infants and young children from pre-2001 window coverings. In a public educational campaign titled “Kids, Cords, Caution,” the CPSC and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) are urging people with pre-2001 window coverings to repair or replace them. According to the CPSC, 160 infants and children have died from accidental strangling in window cords since 1991.

ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2002, Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products, sets requirements for cellular shades, horizontal blinds, pleated shades, roll-up shades, roman shades, traverse rods and vertical blinds, that reduce the possibility of injury, including strangulation, to young children from the bead chain, cord, or any type of flexible loop device used to operate the product.

The CPSC warns that the most dangerous products are older mini-blinds with looped pull cords; mini-blinds made after 1995 do not have looped pull cords. Blinds without cord stops are also hazardous. Since 2001, cord stops were automatically built into blinds and shades. However, millions of un-repaired, older corded window coverings are still in homes.

“Educating our members and employees on this issue is another way we can help increase consumer awareness of this safety hazard and work to save lives,” ASSE Executive Director Fred J. Fortman said.

ASSE urges the public to check out the “Repairing Window Cords to Reduce Strangulation Risks” illustrated guide and “Window-Cord Safety Rules” on the WCSC website at or call WCSC’s toll-free number at 1-800-506-4636 to order free cord-repair kits.

Formed in 1911, ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and has more than 30,000 occupational health and environmental professional members who manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education.

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