From: "Wright, Mike" <mwright**At_Symbol_Here**USW.ORG>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question about Managing Consensus Standards
Date: June 5, 2012 4:52:16 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <2AF7FC1106E2C841A71E5EE896E4897A01836DD15CC8**At_Symbol_Here**>

This is not a direct response to the question, but readers should be aware of a significant legal issue with the consensus standards. A number of federal regulations incorporate consensus standards by reference. In other words, if you want to know the law, you have to pay a hefty fee to a private organization and you are prohibited from sharing the information with anyone else. That puts citizens' and environmental groups at a serious disadvantage. Questions have even been raised about its constitutionality. Several groups have begun to organize around this issue. On the other hand, the organizations that develop the consensus standards depend on the fees to cover their expenses. So it's not an easy issue.

Michael J. Wright
Director of Health, Safety and Environment
United Steelworkers
5 Gateway Center
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Work (412) 562-2580
Cell (412) 370-0105
Fax (412) 562-2584


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-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Alnajjar, Mikhail S
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question about Managing Consensus Standards

In addition to what is said below, purchasing a multiple user license to the standard is a common practice if sharing the individual license is prohibited. We have done this ourselves to avoid liability or ethical violation.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Rindoks, Kurt
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question about Managing Consensus Standards

I believe that copyright material may be circulated as its original (not photocopied) to a list of readers and returned to the originator who keeps the original on file. A library, for example, has copyright books on loan. The book cannot be photocopied but can be read by many.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 1:13 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Question about Managing Consensus Standards

A question from someone who preferred to remain anonymous...

- Ralph


I have a question related to how other organizations and professionals view and manage consensus standards at their facility. Recently, a manager at my corporation requested that I purchase a single license consensus standard from an organization (such as ANSI) and then disburse to another individual for use among a workgroup. After reading the copyright agreement on the consensus standard I informed the colleague that per the copyright agreement that this couldn't be done and that the individual would need to purchase the standard himself and it could only be for his sole use. The manager then replied that (these are not his exact words) it was no big deal to purchase the standard and give to the individual and no one would hold me to the copyright law. I understand that the chances of being held and prosecuted for the disbursement of one consensus standard would probably not occur; however, I refused the manager's request on the basis of ethics and stated that the comp!

any would either have to purchase a multiple user license to the standard which I would look into or the individual would have to buy the standard himself.

Therefore, my question is just on how other companies and individuals deal with the purchasing of consensus standards that are incorporated into government regulations by reference (such as NEC 70E). Especially since these standards can cost a lot of money to an individual or small companies. I have already seen some individuals (not the manager stated above) email consensus standards between other users as if it were not a big deal. Also, I heard recently on a public radio program where a group is trying to distribute these to the public for free ( .

Any thoughts or comments on this topic would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
YSP (young safety professional)

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