ANSI/ASSP Z490 EHS Training Standard


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“Vector Solutions sees the ANSI/ASSP Z940 standards on EHS training as incredibly valuable resources for everyone involved in EHS training—training producers like ourselves, EHS managers, people vetting EHS training before licensing it, training deliverers with deep content expertise but less training expertise, and more.” Vector Solutions, 866-733-0790,


ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute, which helps to create national standards for many different safety issues. ASSP (American Society of Safety Professionals) works with ANSI to create national standards related to safety and health, including the Z490 EHS Training. 

There are two Z490 EHS Training standards. Z490.1 addresses all EHS training, no matter the delivery method (instructor-led, online, etc.), while Z490.2 addresses online EHS training. Z490.2 supplements/complements Z490.1; it is not meant as a replacement.

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Why Standard is Important

The OSHA standard establishes the requirement for workplace health and safety training, as safety training helps build a positive safety culture and is an important, integral part of an effective safety management system. ANSI/ASSP Z 490.1 provides the best training practices for effective training programs. The trainings listed in the OSHA standards are mandatory. However, although following ANSI/ASSP Z490.1 is not mandatory, it is an excellent guide to the effective implementation of an EHS training program.

The ANSI/ASSP Z490.2-2019 “Accepted Practices for E-Learning in Safety, Health and Environmental Training” standard’s purpose is to provide accepted practices for e-learning in safety, health and environmental training programs.

This standard establishes criteria for e-learning as part of safety, health and environmental training programs, including program management, development, delivery, evaluation and documentation. This standard is intended to complement ANSI/ASSP Z490.1, “Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training.” As such, all criteria in ANSI/ASSP Z490.1 apply. Only criteria unique to or particularly relevant to e-learning are presented in this standard. As stated above, it is important to note that Z490.2 isn’t meant to replace Z490.1. Instead, it’s meant to supplement Z490.1 on issues related to online training. All that is stated in in Z490.1 is still true for online EHS training.

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Key Compliance Requirements

The “meat” of Z490.1 is a commonly used training design and development methodology known as ADDIE. Each of the five letters stands for a step in the process: A = Analysis; D = Design; D = Development; I = Implementation; and E = Evaluation. 

Analysis—Analysis begins with identifying the problem and its cause. This includes analysis of the organization, to understand its goals and align training with those goals; analysis of the learners, to identify their prior knowledge and skills, job roles, learning preferences, schedules and other factors (language fluency, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, etc.) that would influence their success in training; and analysis of the job task(s), to design training appropriate to the job workers perform in the field.

Design—Design includes creating performance-based learning objectives; determining the criteria for successful completion of the training; creating the assessments workers must complete after the training; determining appropriate content and instructional activities to help workers satisfy the learning objectives; choosing the appropriate training delivery methods/media; determining the proper sequence of training; and breaking the training experience, content and activities down to easily learned “chunks.”

Development—Development includes the creation of the training materials (i.e., workbooks or any other materials needed during the training), reference materials for workers to take with them after training and job aids for workers to use in the field at the moment of need. Development also includes a small beta test of the training materials to a learner population that’s similar to the larger learner population that will have to complete the training (and then any necessary revisions).

Implementation—Implementation involves scheduling the training; notifying workers and their managers of the training; and explaining to managers how they can support workers in their efforts to apply the training later on the job. Implementation also includes delivering the training to the learners.

Evaluation—Evaluation determines if training was effective. There are multiple training evaluation models, including the Kirkpatrick, Brinkerhoff, Kaufman and Phillips models (as well as the newer Thalheimer/LTEM model). The Kirkpatrick four-level training evaluation model is the basis of the evaluation method explained in Z490.1. 


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