Nov 18, 2019
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We know by now that the application of a safety management system (SMS) can drastically improve organizational safety performance. Even OSHA's Partnership program, VPP, relies on management system principles, and you can see the results that participants encounter on their website.
So, back in 1999, ANSI started a committee to begin work on what would become known as the Z10 standard. The committee looked at existing national and international standards in occupational safety and health. Initially approved in 2005, it was revised once and reaffirmed in 2017. More recently, the collaboration between ANSI and the American Industrial Hygiene Association was replaced on the Z10 committee by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), which is why you will now see the standard now titled ANSI/ASSP Z10.
ANSI Z10 encourages participants to integrate other management systems with the safety management system. Mainly because most other systems follow the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) model as the basis for continuous improvement, so it should be familiar to most organizations. Not only that, it is incredibly useful! The stated purpose of the standard is to provide organizations a valuable tool for continuous improvement of their safety and health performance.
The standard focuses mainly on the strategic aspects of policies and the things that go into making sure they are carried out. What ANSI Z10 does NOT do is provide companies with things like detailed procedures and job instructions. So let's get into what is required by this voluntary standard.
Like other voluntary standards, the ANSI/ASSP Z10 is broken down into sections. According to the Table of Contents, the seven sections are as follows:
Scope, Purpose, & Application
Just as in the case with ISO 45001, ANSI/ASSP Z10 starts with the Scope, Purpose & Application. It defines the minimum requirements for the safety management system, and its primary purpose is, again, to provide a tool that organizations can use to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Of course, the standard can be applied to any organization regardless of size and type.
Management Leadership & Employee Participation
The top management has to mandate all parts of the organization to establish, maintain, implement, and maintain the SMS per the standard.
This mandate starts with top management establishing a documented EHS policy. Companies have to make sure that, at a minimum, the safety policy includes the following:
The top leadership must also accept ultimate responsibility for safety and health by doing the things we come to expect in these safety management systems:
Employees also have to assume responsibility for parts of the SMS over which they have control, like following safety rules and procedures. All of this must be communicated to all employees as well as be made available to relevant external interested parties.
According to ANSI, top leadership should not only hire a safety professional and delegate all of this to them. They must be visible in their leadership by participating in carrying out aspects of the SMS as well.
The organization has to establish a process that ensures meaningful employee participation throughout all levels. At a minimum:
ANSI states that the planning process goal is to identify and prioritize SMS issues such as hazards, risks, SMS deficiencies, and opportunities for improvement. The organization must also establish goals and objectives to improve upon the SMS as well.
There are four parts of this section:
Let's talk about Review; I often mention the need to conduct a gap assessment. Well, so does ANSI. You need to identify the differences, the gap between the organization's SMS, and the requirements of the Z10.
Not only does this need to be done when implementing Z10, but also periodically after that. The organization must document these activities. The activities you should document include:
Implementation & Operation
This section is where ANSI spells out which elements an organization needs for the implementation of an effective SMS. These elements are considered foundational elements of the SMS and feed into the planning process.
ANSI believes the implementation fo these elements also generates the much-needed experience and knowledge that will be looped back into the planning process continuously.
The elements are as follows:
Here I want to focus on the first element. The organization must establish and implement a risk assessment process that addresses the nature of the hazards and level of risks in the business.
In the Risk Assessment element, ANSI spells out the use of the hierarchy of controls, design review, management of change, procurement processes, contractor management, and emergency preparedness. These all must be addressed to comply with the standard.
Evaluation & Corrective Action
In this section, ANSI covers the requirements for processes to achieve the following:
ANSI spells out five areas that will help:
In the end, the findings and lessons learned will loop back into the continuous process of improving the SMS overall.
In this section, ANSI defines the requirements for occasional management reviews. The reason is for top management, along with crucial leaders in the organization, to do a strategic evaluation of the performance of the SMS and recommend improvements. The difference being that this speaks specifically to top leadership.
Things to consider using during any management review include:
The reason top management needs to conduct these reviews is that they have the authority to make the necessary decisions about allocating resources about choices.
The results need to be summarized, spelling out action items top management needs to address. These go into action plans with targets to achieve as well as identifying those responsible for seeing them through.
To recap, the ANSI/ASSP Z10 Standard has requirements under the following sections:
I wanted to cover ANSI Z10 as I did for the ISO 45001 Standard in the last episode. Which one do you think you would recommend following? Why?
I like aspects of both, but the ANSI Standard reads better. They formatted the standard into two columns. The left-hand side spells out standard requirements while the right-hand side offers recommendations or best practices related to each. It is pretty easy to follow in that regard.
Let me know what you think - ISO or ANSI at this point? Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.