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Folding Guard is a manufacturer of high-quality wire mesh machine guarding barrier systems. With a diverse product line, including both framed and frameless options, our safety systems are sure to keep both your machinery and your personnel safe.

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ANSI Standards and Why Your Business Should Comply With Them

POSTED 06/10/2020

 | By: ANSI Standards and Why Your Business Should Comply, ANSI Standards and Why Your Business Should Comply With Them

It’s important to set high standards. That’s good life advice in general, but especially in any business, industrial, or manufacturing setting. In manufacturing, most businesses adhere to ANSI Standards, or the American National Standards Institute.

Contrary to popular belief, ANSI is not a government agency, but classifies itself as a “private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system and strengthening its impact, both domestically and internationally.” If you’re interested in more information, check out ansi.org.

The key word in that description is “voluntary”. Since ANSI is not a federal agency, but a private organization, their standards are not requirements. Instead, all of their participants choose to adhere to their published standards, and they do this so that their clients know that they are getting a proven, consistent product.

Think of it this way: when you try on a shirt in one store, you might wear a medium, but in another store, you might wear a large. Shopping would be much simpler if those stores all agreed to adhere to voluntary standards and a conformity assessment system. And in return, as a shopper, you wouldn’t have to worry about trying the same items on every time, because the sizes would be uniform across several different stores.

In that way, consistency and conformity are, of course, paramount to safety. If you happen to buy products from more than one manufacturer, you can rest assured, knowing that all the products will meet the same standards and fit the same parameters.

ANSI standards can influence safety in more direct ways, as well. Many of the standards are published for the sole purpose of making warehouses and facilities in the manufacturing industry, safer work environments for employees and staff.

Just last year, the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA) published a new American National Standard regarding the testing requirements for steel mesh containment panels used in pallet rack and vertical storage systems.

This testing system was ultimately designed to protect workers. From protection against falling objects, suppressing fire hazards by aligning with fire safety codes and adjusting pallets for flue safety, to preventing products from being pushed into walls or being damaged or punctured, all of this aligns with worker safety. The entire testing standard is available for purchase here.

A figure from ANSI Standard MH31.1-2019 showing the importance of pallet rack backing in between pallet racks

Folding Guard’s own Engineering Manager, Greg Schweinberg, was instrumental in the creation of the new ANSI standard. In fact, we have made sure to test our own Qwik-Fence® Pallet Rack Backing against the requirements of the new standard, and others will hopefully follow suit to do the same.

That’s the great thing about the conformity assessment system. Once a product has been tested against it and approved, your clients can rest easy knowing that they are purchasing a safe and proven piece of equipment.

By meeting voluntary business standards, you prove to your clients that you're dedicated to safety and to the quality of your products. Here at Folding Guard, we’re very proud to meet American National Standards. Even better, by now having one of our team members contribute to those standards, with the new testing system for steel mesh containment systems and pallet safety, we further our commitment to meeting these standards.

Don’t let your standards slip. Show your clients and your employees that you’re dedicated to safety every step of the way. ANSI Standards are a great way to maintain consistent, safe practices and products in your business.