What is ANSI?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non-profit organization that promotes voluntary conformity standards in the United States. ANSI also represents the United States in international standards organizations, helping to create guidelines that are universally accepted in multiple industries.

Without ANSI overseeing the development of standards and accrediting them, manufacturers could make their own versions of the same products that would not be compatible with each other, making use more difficult for consumers.

One example of the importance of standards can be found when trying on shoes that fit. Every shoe maker manufactures shoes in slightly different ways. This is why someone can be a size 10 with one brand and a 10.5 with another.

If ANSI were to accept a universal standard for shoe sizes, then all shoes marked as a size 10 would fit the same. ANSI standards have brought uniformity to a wide variety of industries, including the formatting of safety signage.

All ANSI standards are voluntary, but standards are often adopted by agencies with enforcement authority. The ANSI Z535-2011(R2017) standard, for example, was adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), making compliance with this ANSI standard part of the greater OSHA safety regulations.

ANSI is also the official representative for the United States to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

As the U.S. representative to ISO, ANSI helps to convey the interests of the United States in the development and coordination of international standards. This helps to keep American manufacturers current in the international community and their products internationally compatible.

What are ANSI standards?

ANSI is an independent organization that oversees standards for numerous industries. These standards help create uniformity for products, processes, and ways to share information, such as accident prevention information. Learn more here.

What is the ANSI format for safety signs?

ANSI safety sign formats are based on the ANSI Z535-2011 standard. This standard has three important elements, including a safety header, images, and the sign legend. Learn more here.

What is ISO?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in an organization similar to ANSI, which oversees, creates, and promotes internationally accepted standards. Learn more here.

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