The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has launched a website dedicated to the ANSI Z535 series of safety standards and guidelines to coincide with the observation of National Safety Month. http://www.nema.org/Z535 now provides easy access to the six different standards in the ANSI Z535 series and offers tips for using the safety standards in the home or office.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), June 2008 has been designated National Safety Month as a “call to action” for employers and other organizations to help reverse a dramatic national increase in accidental injuries and deaths. The theme of this year’s observance is “Make a Difference.”
“NEMA has always been in the electrical safety business,” said Paul Orr, NEMA program manager and secretary for the Z535 Committee. “But safety is a growing need, not just an electrical safety issue. Safety standards apply across the board—automotive, energy, construction, aerospace, defense, home, leisure, everywhere. ANSI Z535 standards make a big difference in safety. We decided to launch the website to coincide with National Safety Month.”
The decision to create a webpage for the documents grew from a discussion by the committee to increase visibility of the series and to supplement the committee’s mission to develop standards for the design, application, and use of signs, colors, and symbols intended to identify and warn against specific hazards and for other accident prevention purposes.
Orr drew on NSC statistics to spotlight the need for safety standards:
· unintentional-injury deaths were up 2% in 2006, following what had been years of decline
· accidental injuries cost Americans more than $650 billion annually
· every 4 minutes, someone is killed as a result of a preventable injury
· unintentional injuries continue to be the fifth leading cause of death
· 28.4 million people were treated in hospital emergency departments for unintentional injuries
· the economic impact of unintentional injuries amounted to $652.1 billion in 2006, the equivalent of $2,200 per capita
Orr pointed to the ANSI Z535.3 Criteria for Safety Symbols in particular as a means of preventing injuries. “We live in a multi-ethnic and highly mobile country,” he said. “Different reading skills complicate the effectiveness of word-only signs. This standard demonstrates effective safety symbols and their ability to provide critical information for accident prevention and for personal protection without using words.”
The entire ANSI Z535 series provides a tangible means to prevent injuries by standardizing recognized symbols and colors. It incorporates a unified means of signs, colors, and symbols that identify and warn against specific hazards and other accident prevention purposes.
To visit the new NEMA website that promotes safety standards along with safety tips click here or go to http://www.nema.org/Z535.
NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, São Paulo, and Mexico City.