The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health, safety, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 outbreak. ANSI is monitoring, sharing, and promoting appropriate news related to these efforts to highlight these efforts. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to [email protected]. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion. The latest updates follow:
PHTA Underscores Importance of American National Standard and Proper Maintenance of Pools and Hot Tubs Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
PHTA (the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, recognizes the need for the government, industry, and the general public to have accurate information as it relates to the coronavirus.
As PHTA points out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, "There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19." Additionally, the World Health Organization states that controlling water quality is necessary to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.
PHTA strongly encourages commercial and residential pool and spa owners to follow the ANSI/APSP/ICC-11 2019, American National Standard for Water Quality in Public Pools and Spas. The standard was initially developed in response to the need expressed by public health officials for a national standard for water quality in public pools and spas. The Recreational Water Quality Committee (RWQC) of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) actively partnered with public health officials during the development of this draft standard by visiting with public health officials asking for feedback on the standard. Public health and code officials also played an important role in the development of consensus necessary for this standard to be published as an American National Standard (ANS). PHTA has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developing organization since 1983.
PHTA has put together an informational website on how essential it is for pools and hot tubs to be maintained. According to PHTA, it is critical for the public to recognize that disinfectants used for pool and hot tub maintenance can also be used for surface disinfection and other means necessary during this time.
For more information, visit www.phta.org/news/coronavirus.
TCIA Applauds DHS Advisory Notice Recognizing Tree Care a "Critical Industry"
The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, has announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an advisory notice on March 19 including tree care among "critical" industries that should continue operating in case of "shelter in place" or quarantine orders during the COVID-19 outbreak. TCIA points out that the advisory specifically mentions vegetation management/tree care in two places:
Though the DHS notice is an advisory opinion, and not an order with the backing of law, TCIA is encouraged that DHS recognizes the importance of tree care to every day American life.
In a letter to ANSI, TCIA pointed to the particular importance of two standards in supporting tree care services: the ANSI A300 Part 1 Pruning standard, which addresses utility clearance, and ANSI A300 Part 9 Tree Risk Assessment, which standardizes how to determine which trees are hazardous.
For more information about TCIA's efforts related to COVID-19, visit TCIA's website.
NFPA Blog: COVID-19 Provides Opportunity for Elevating Community Risk Reduction Efforts
"Even during these uncertain times, there is good reason for optimism. Because where challenges live, so do opportunities."
So asserts ANSI member and accredited standards developer the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in its latest blog post, COVID-19 Provides Opportunity for Elevating Your Community Risk Reduction Efforts.
As the author points out, a great deal of NFPA's work is focused on Community Risk Reduction. NFPA encourages communities to review NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development, and in particular, the information about Community Risk Assessment (CRA). The process is guided by an examination of different community profiles to provide an understanding of the risks in the communities. A review at the profiles, NFPA states, may provide helpful information during the fight against COVID-19, as well as in the aftermath.
The Aluminum Association Announces Framework for Policymakers
The Aluminum Association, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, announced the release of a framework for policymakers developing economic stimulus and other programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The document - "American Aluminum Jobs: Essential to the Nation" - highlights the importance of U.S. aluminum production, fabrication, and recycling, and calls for a number of measures to support the industry during the ongoing public health crisis.
"The aluminum industry provides a number of products that will be essential to the nation in the coming weeks and months," said Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. "From building material for emergency facilities and critical infrastructure to antimicrobial medical equipment to packaging for food, beverage, hygiene and other products, aluminum is a key part of any disaster response effort."
The framework also calls for a number of specific actions by policymakers to keep the aluminum industry operating in both the near and long-term including grants for capital projects, a credit insurance program, tax incentives, defense spending and other actions.
"During this challenging time, it is important that we all come together to support vital American manufacturing," added Dobbins. "COVID-19 is a unique but conquerable threat and we look forward to doing our part to help."
Read the full "American Aluminum Jobs: Essential to the Nation" policy framework.
Related ANSI news:
March 12, 2020: COPANT Announces Suspension of General Assembly 2020
ANSI statements related to COVID-19