What is ANSI Standard?

Laptop displaying ANSI Standards

May 1, 2024

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) facilitates technology standards in the United States. While ANSI does not develop standards itself, it oversees the development process carried out by other organizations and ensures that these processes are open, transparent, and involve stakeholder consensus. 

A few examples of ANSI rating standards include:

ANSI Z87.1

The ANSI Z87.1 standard applies to eye and face protection devices, ensuring that products provide adequate protection against various hazards, including impact, non-ionizing radiation, and chemical exposure.

ANSI/ISEA Z358.1

ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 applies to emergency eyewash and shower equipment, specifying performance criteria, installation requirements, and maintenance guidelines for equipment used to treat employees exposed to hazardous materials.

ANSI/ISEA 107

ANSI/ISEA 107 focuses on high-visibility safety apparel and accessories, setting forth requirements for materials, design, and performance to enhance the visibility and safety of workers in various environments.

ANSI BIFMA X5.1

ANSI BIFMA X5.1 relates to office seating. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) develops standards for commercial-grade office furniture to ensure safety, durability, and sustainability. The ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 standard outlines tests for office chairs, including those for back strength, stability, and seat durability.

ANSI Z535

ANSI Z535 is a series of standards covering safety signs and colors, aiming to establish a uniform system for hazard recognition and communication that consists of safety symbols, colors, and signage for environmental and facility safety.

ANSI/ASSE Z359

ANSI/ASSE Z359 is a comprehensive family of standards for fall protection, covering the full spectrum of fall protection including equipment, design, and training requirements to protect workers at height.

These standards play a critical role in regulatory compliance, workplace safety, and product development across various industries. Compliance with ANSI standards often reflects a commitment to quality, safety, and reliability, which can be pivotal for businesses in competitive markets. ANSI covers a vast range of standards across virtually all fields of technology and production.

ANSI EDI

ANSI EDI was created in 1979 and developed under ANSI’s sponsored committee, the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12.

Learn more about ANSI EDI here.

What is the Difference Between OSHA and ANSI Standards?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and ANSI both play important roles in promoting safety in the workplace while operating in different ways and focusing on different aspects of safety regulation.

OSHA vs ANSI Differences

OSHA is a federal agency of the United States Department of Labor. It is responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations to ensure that employers provide safe and healthy working conditions for their employees. These standards are established and enforced by OSHA through federal regulations. 

Employers are required to comply with OSHA standards and regulations, and failure to do so can result in penalties and fines. OSHA also conducts inspections of workplaces to assess compliance with safety and health regulations. Inspectors have the authority to issue citations and penalties for violations.

OSHA standards are often broad and general, covering a wide range of industries and hazards. They provide baseline requirements for workplace safety but may not address every specific situation or hazard encountered in a particular industry or workplace.

ANSI vs OSHA Differences

ANSI develops voluntary consensus standards through a collaborative process involving industry stakeholders, technical experts, government agencies, and other interested parties. These standards are not enforced by law unless they are adopted by regulatory agencies or incorporated into contracts or procurement requirements.

Industry Specificity

ANSI standards often focus on specific industries, technologies, or processes. They provide detailed technical specifications, guidelines, and best practices to address specific hazards, improve efficiency, and enhance quality within particular sectors.

Adoption and Compliance: While compliance with ANSI standards may not be mandatory by law, many industries voluntarily adopt ANSI standards to improve safety, quality, and performance. Compliance with ANSI standards may be required by industry associations, trade organizations, or contract specifications.

Complementary to OSHA Standards

ANSI standards complement OSHA regulations by providing additional guidance, technical detail, and best practices for addressing specific hazards and industry challenges. Employers may use ANSI standards as a resource to enhance their safety programs and practices beyond basic OSHA compliance.

In Summary

OSHA establishes and enforces mandatory regulations to ensure workplace safety, while ANSI develops voluntary consensus standards to provide technical guidance and best practices. Both OSHA and ANSI standards contribute to improving safety in the workplace, with OSHA focusing on legal requirements and enforcement and ANSI focusing on industry-specific technical standards and voluntary adoption.

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