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ISO to create global occupational health & safety standard
Jul '13
Following the tragic deaths of thousands of garment factory workers around the world in the past year, including over 1,100 people in a factory collapse in Bangladesh, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced that it will develop a new standard for global occupational health and safety (OH&S) with the goal of providing governmental agencies, industry, and other affected stakeholders with effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world. The work will be overseen by ISO Project Committee (PC) 283, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements.

"This proposed occupational health and safety standard represents one of the most significant consensus standards activities in the last 50 years," said S. Joe Bhatia, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) president and CEO. "It has the potential to significantly and positively impact occupational health and safety management on a global level."

To support this effort, ANSI and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) are seeking participants for a U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO PC 283. All U.S. experts and interested stakeholders in OH&S management are strongly encouraged to get involved and help influence the development of this important standard.

The U.S. TAG to ISO PC 283 will advise ANSI on voting positions relevant to the proposed OH&S management standard, and will carry out detailed discussions on issues related to its development. As the U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI accredits U.S. TAGs to develop and transmit U.S. positions on ISO technical activities. Following the TAG's accreditation by ANSI, ASSE will head up the U.S. work effort by serving as the U.S. TAG administrator to ISO PC 283.

"Time and time again we've seen how investment in OH&S management can help to make work environments safer, while also serving to improve overall organizational performance and boosting the bottom line," said Kathy Seabrook, CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSH, president of ASSE.

"ISO PC 283 will be doing critically important work, and the U.S. needs to have a strong, active and engaged role in this activity," added Mr. Bhatia. "ANSI and ASSE encourage all interested U.S. stakeholders to get involved in this significant new global standards initiative."


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