Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Acoustics in Permanent and Modular Classrooms

Acoustical Society of America announces new national standards for Acoustics in Permanent and Modular Classrooms.

The Acoustical Society of America, headquartered in Melville, NY, announced the publication of a newly revised, two-part standard that addresses classroom acoustics. These documents are also a valuable resource for school boards, school facilities personnel and parents who need to understand the importance of minimizing distracting noise in the classroom and creating an acoustical environment that is conducive to learning.

These standards represent the consensus of opinion among those with a direct expertise and interest in the subject matter. They were drafted by working groups comprised of experts and stakeholders who volunteered their time to the projects. They were approved by ANSI-Accredited Standards Committee S12, Noise, under operating procedures accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a not-for-profit organization that coordinates the development of voluntary consensus standards in the US.

The national standards are now available as a two-part series. The first part, ANSI/ASA S12.60-2010/Part 1, “American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools, Part 1: Permanent Schools, is a major revision of ANSI S12.60-2002. The particular issues related to acoustics in relocatable classrooms are addressed in ANSI/ASA S12.60-2009/Part 2, “American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools, Part 2: Relocatable Classroom Factors."

Thanks to a unique partnership of industry supporters Armstrong Ceiling Systems, Trane, and Owens Corning, ASA is able to offer both standards for download from the ASA online store at no cost to the user. "Every school official in the country can have these useful resources at hand because cost is not a prohibitive factor," said Dr. Paul D. Schomer, ASA's Standards Director.

These standards and many other national and international standards can be obtained in PDF format from the Acoustical Society of America Online Store . Standards may also be ordered by fax or mail from: Acoustical Society of America, 35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 114E, Melville NY 11747-3177, Phone: 631-390-0215, Fax: 631-390-0217, Email:

ASA offers the full catalog of ISO/TC 108 Mechanical vibration, shock and condition monitoring, ISO/TC 43 Acoustics, ISO/TC 43/SC 1 Noise, and IEC/TC 29 Electroacoustics standards, as well as a wide range of American National Standards on the topics of Acoustics, Mechanical Vibration and Shock, Bioacoustics, and Noise.

The American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) is the national coordinator of voluntary standards development and the clearinghouse in the USA for information on national and international standards. For more information, visit

The Acoustical Society of America is a nonprofit organization founded in 1929. It is the premier international scientific society in acoustics, dedicated to increasing and diffusing the knowledge of acoustics and promoting its practical applications. For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ANSI/ASSE Z117.1 (Confined Spaces)

The aim of the revised ANSI Z117 standard , Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces,  is to provide for the minimum performance requirements necessary in developing and implementing a comprehensive confined space program for the protection of workers. A PDF download comparing versions 1995, 2003 and 2009 is also available in combination with the standard.

The Z117 Standard was developed by ANSI accredited ASSE ASC Z117. According to the Z117 ASC, a review of 200 confined space fatality cases from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) database occurring between 1993 and 2004 confirmed that the distribution of causes had not changed to any significant degree. The committee also noted that approximately 65 percent of incidents with fatalities involved atmospheric contamination and engulfment accounted for less than 10 percent of the identified causes. However, the fatality cases in this sampling do not represent all U.S. confined space incidents resulting in fatalities.

***Scope for ANSI ASSE Z117.1

1.1 Scope. This standard provides minimum safety requirements to be followed while entering, exiting and working in confined spaces at normal atmospheric pressure.

1.2 Exceptions. This standard does not pertain to underground mining, tunneling, caisson work, intentionally inert confined spaces, or other similar tasks that have established national consensus standards.

1.3 Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to establish minimum requirements and procedures for the safety and health of employees who work in, and in connection with, confined spaces.

Are you working with the latest confined space safety standards?

Additional material for further reading:

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