I am very pleased to report that my application to serve on the Z590.7 ANSI/ASSP committee to develop a national management system standard for Total Worker Health ® (TWH) has been accepted. I had previously served as an alternate for the Healthier Workforce Center, a NIOSH/CDC-funded Total Worker Health Center of Excellence. As I am retiring from the University of Iowa and the Healthier Workforce Center, I will serve on the committee as an individual. I welcome the opportunity to contribute and to learn.
From NIOSH’s December 2020 TWH in Action! eNewsletter:
Total Worker Health Exclusive
American Society of Safety Professionals Guides Development of Voluntary TWH Management Standard
In July, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), with the support of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), initiated an effort to develop a voluntary management standard for Total Worker Health (TWH).
Voluntary consensus standards are guidelines that safety-minded organizations choose to implement because of their merit. The consensus process brings together diverse viewpoints from all levels of public and private sectors. The collective technical expertise ensures that a standard considers best practices and state-of-the-art technologies while addressing gaps where no regulatory standard exists.
When complete the TWH management standard will act as a road map for organizations to broaden their approach to identifying and addressing workplace risks and responding to them comprehensively. It will address worker well-being while maintaining a strong focus on organizational safety management. The popular ANSI/ASSP Z10 standard, which guides implementation of safety and health management systems in all industries, is being used as a model in the development process.
ASSP and ANSI issued calls for participants in the standard development committee, organized into a steering committee/writing group and a larger canvass committee/editing group. The resulting committee consists of many experienced occupational safety and health professionals, vital in developing the consensus standard. Several members have implemented TWH principles and established best practices for improving worker well-being. Significant input from representatives of labor organizations is another critical part of the comprehensive process.
The standard-development committee’s first step in the process is to write a draft of the standard, a phase that will continue into 2021. It involves determining the standard’s purpose, scope, applicability, resources, and initial content. Following that, according to ANSI-accredited procedures, will be a broad-based public review and comment period, written responses that resolve submitted remarks, and the right to appeal by any committee member who believes due process was not sufficiently carried out.
Transparency is a key component. Producing a new ANSI/ASSP voluntary consensus standard of this magnitude can take up to two years or longer.
Additional contributors will likely be added as the committee proceeds with development. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact ASSP’s Lauren Bauerschmidt at LBauerschmidt@assp.org to obtain information and an application.