How many ANSI standards are there?

There are an astounding 9,500 ANSI standards that have been created for the purpose of keeping people safe and well informed on proven best practices. These standards embody the best practice methods that ANSI has collected from accredited organizations all over the country from various different industrial backgrounds.

Are ANSI standards mandatory?

Due to ANSI’s non-profit nature, these standards are voluntary unless OSHA, or another government organization that has the power of enforcement, deems that they will incorporate specific ANSI standards by reference in their own regulations. Incorporation by reference makes those specific ANSI standards are enforceable since they have the backing of OSHA as a source of authority. Calling ANSI standards the best practice method, or the “golden standard,” is also a way to encourage their adoption by companies even though most of them are voluntary, with some exceptions.

ANSI standards are more important than some may think since they are often referred to as “voluntary” standards. They are in fact used to create recognizable in-depth definitions and terms so there is less confusion on topics regarding electrical work, fire safety, building standards, etc. With everything clearly defined, there is little room for misunderstandings to take place during the manufacturing process, testing, and even at the training level.

These thousands of standards are so prevalent that you may even run into them during your daily routine. For example, plugs for electrical equipment and appliances come from the International Electrotechnical Commission code 60320, another standard creating organization. Even swimming pools have standards that are set up by ANSI under 64E-9. Voluntary standards impact everyone’s lives as they are a necessary precaution in keeping everyone on the same page about safety. There is a reason why ANSI is called the “golden standard,” and that’s because they have been proven to effectively assist in safety, communication, and efficiency.


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