Last month, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) issued a new safety standard for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that issues safety standards for a wide range of occupations and work practices. The new standard will be issued as Z15.1-2012.
The new ANSI standard is a synthesis of collective best industry practices. It goes beyond vehicle maintenance, auditing and DOT compliance to address issues such as distracted driving, aggressive driving and driver fatigue. The standard also covers such practices as recruiting, driver training and disciplinary procedures.
In the past, OSHA has commonly referenced ANSI standards as the basis for General Duty Clause citations. In addition, many ANSI standards are ultimately used as the basis for new OSHA safety regulations. Given DOT regulatory control over most commercial motor vehicle drivers, OSHA is limited in its ability to issue citations based on many driver safety issues. In addition to being a valuable guidance for employers, the new ANSI standard could serve as the basis for future DOT and OSHA enforcement efforts.