Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food Labels and Standards

A previous post on this blog about food standards and Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) discussed a proposed FDA rule for gluten free labeling of food.

Some recent articles by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, CSPI, relate broadly to the topic of food labeling; and in particular, advocate for standardizing food labels in a 158 page draft report, Food Labeling Chaos The Case for Reform.

While not strictly about standards, these other articles from CSPI provide additional background:

CSPI Urges FDA Crackdown on False & Misleading Food Labeling

Nutrition Action Healthletter: What the Label Doesn't Tell You

The ANSI Consumer Interest Forum (CIF) works to facilitate the representation of consumer interests in voluntary standards and conformity assessment activities.  Through the CIF, ANSI encourages consumer participation in the development of standards for consumer products and services to identify and meet consumer concerns and needs. Participation in the CIF is open to consumer representatives who are willing to actively participate in its work and who express an interest in membership. Membership in ANSI is not required.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fall Protection Standards and Construction Safety Standards

New ANSI Fall Protection Standards: What They Mean to You By Thom Kramer, P.E., CSP, Nolan Miller in OHSonline identifies the ANSI Fall protection standards and gives background information on the development of these important safety standards. You can download individual ASSE ANSI Z359 Fall Protection standards discussed in this article, and a complete collection of Z359 Fall Protection standards which contains all the individual standards in one convenient package.

In addition, ANSI has British Standards for Fall Protection, ASTM, CSA (Canadian), IEEE, DIN, ONORM (Austrian), AS (Australia) and ISO standards for fall safety.  The ANSI/ASSE A10 Construction Package is a comprehensive compliation of the individual ANSI/ASSE A10 series of  construction safety standards.

The ASSE A10 standards provide the safety requirements for scaffolding, steel erection, safety nets and fall protection. Demolition operation standards address debris net systems, rope-guided and nonguided workers' hoists, commercial explosives and blasting agents, digger derricks, rigging qualifications and hearing loss prevention. The requirements for the safety of the public near construction sites and the health and safety of employees in construction enviroments are also supplied in this package which includes more than 30 construction and demolition standards.

You may also want to read the Analysis of Construction Fatalities - The OSHA Data Base 1985-1989 that analyzes the causes of fatalities. Of the cases that OSHA reviewed in the study, 33% of construction fatalities were from falls from elevation. Fall Protection: Complete OSHA Regulations are available from Amazon in paperback. A representative group of construction safety standards are listed on the ANSI webstore.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Demonstrating the Value of Standards - 2

A recent article on Concrete Fastening Systems website "Carbide Bits for Concrete Drilling Applications" touches on the value of standards and the confusion in the marketplace arising from non-standard drill bits. According to Michael Pistorino, "Many years ago, different manufacturers of anchors would manufacture anchors and bits to their own tolerances. This meant that carbide bits had to be manufactured and sold by a specific company. Confusion among customers resulted since different anchors were being used with different bits."

A copy of the ANSI B212.15-1994 standard is available free from the CCPA, Cemented Carbide Producers Association, which serves as Technical Advisory Group for ISO/TC 29/SC 9, and is the Secretariat for the American Standards Committee B212. You can learn more about the work of the CCPA technical committees and how to become involved in standards activities.