The ANSI Accredited A10 Committee (ASC) is one of the longest existing voluntary national consensus standards committee in the United States. Founded originally in 1944, the A10 ASC writes and interprets voluntary national consensus standards relating to the protection of employees and the public from hazards arising out of, or associated with, construction and demolition operations.
SH&E professionals working in the construction industry have significant interest in these standards due to the fact that they are recognized in both the public and private sectors. Specifically, the A10 Standards have extensive recognition in the standards of the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration and by a series of other national and state government agencies. At the private sector level A10 Standards are widely cited and required in different contracts and work agreements.
The full A10 ASC is made-up of sixty-seven national organizations from the private and public sector. In addition, there are forty-eight (48) accredited standards and projects under the A10 banner. A subgroup is created and approved by the committee, which is responsible for putting together draft documents for review by the A10 ASC. The subgroups are not responsible for the definitive content of the standard and instead serve to assist the committee in putting the documents together and serving as a technical resource.
The history reprinted below from the Laborer's Union Newsletter, Life Lines, presents a short and concise history and background of ANSI, which is:
Founded in 1918 and based in Washington, DC and New York City, ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the ongoing development of standards to guide all aspects of American production. In 2002, it had more than 10,000 standards, 40 of which address safety issues in the construction and demolition industry.
ANSI standards seek to standardize both the process and the output of American production. Further, through its participation in the International Organization for Standardization, ANSI is able to ensure that imported products meet American standards and, often, that standards developed in the United States are adopted as national standards by other countries. Its mission [www.ansi.org] is "to enhance both the global competitiveness of US business and the US quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems and safeguarding their integrity."
Despite an $18 million annual budget and more than 75 employees, ANSI's standards are developed through the volunteer efforts of its member organizations. These include more than a thousand commercial, governmental, union, institutional, organizational and international members.
The members participate in committees, which develop the standards for the areas of their own concern. All standards are voluntary; no one is forced to follow them. They are adopted by twothirds majorities of the committee participants.