ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Vacuum Cleaners to Emergency Procedures for Construction Sites

New York, Dec 27, 2012

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes 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:

Vacuum Cleaners
Originally called a carpet sweeper by inventor Daniel Hess in 1860, the vacuum cleaner has evolved to serve the vacuuming demands for homes and offices worldwide with modern configurations including upright, canister, drum, wet/dry, pneumatic, backpack, hand-held, robotic, cyclonic, and central models.

To aid designers and manufacturers in creating safe and effective vacuums, ASTM International recently published ASTM F655-11, Standard Specification for Test Carpets and Pads for Vacuum Cleaner Testing. This American National Standard (ANS) provides construction details, replacement procedures, and selection criteria for standard test carpets and pads used when testing vacuum cleaners. The standard classifies carpet types as shag custom tufted test carpet; plush custom tufted test carpet; multilevel custom tufted test carpet; and level loop test carpet.

ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, seeks to develop voluntary consensus standards to improve product quality, enhance safety, and build consumer confidence.

Emergency Procedures for Construction Sites
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Before the start of every demolition job, the demolition contractor should take a number of steps to safeguard the health and safety of workers at the job site. These preparatory operations involve the overall planning of the demolition job, including the methods to be used to bring the structure down, the equipment necessary to do the job, and the measures to be taken to perform the work safely.” To assist in that effort, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently published ANSI/ASSE A10.26-2011, Emergency Procedures for Construction and Demolition Sites.

ANSI/ASSE A10.26-2011 applies to those emergency procedures involving fires, collapses, hazardous spills, and other emergencies that can endanger workers; emergency rescue of injured or ill workers or other persons, or of injured workers unable to rescue themselves; on-site provision of first aid and emergency medical care; evacuation and transportation of injured or ill workers to appropriate emergency medical facilities; pre-planning and coordination of an emergency plan with emergency medical facilities; and training on emergency procedures/plans for workers and other groups. It also provides guidelines for the development of emergency procedures for construction sites. The new ANS is part of the ANSI/ASSE A10 Construction Package, a suite of safety standards for the construction and demolition industry.

ASSE, an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, is committed to protecting people, property, and the environment. Its more than 32,000 members manage, supervise, and consult on safety, health, and environmental issues in industry, insurance, government, and education.

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