ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 12000-2021, “Professional Qualifications Standard for Water Management and Infection Control Risk Assessment for Building Systems,” has been designated as an American National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is now available.
ASSE Series 12000 sets minimum criteria for the training and certification of pipe trades craftspeople, and other construction and maintenance personnel, on how to safely work in environments with potentially deadly diseases. The standards within the Series 12000 address the need for all construction and maintenance personnel and employers, especially within the pipe trades, to become proficient in identifying and managing potential situations where they, or other occupants of a building, may be exposed to bloodborne, waterborne, and airborne pathogens.
“Today, many water systems in the United States face daunting challenges from at least three primary contaminants that are posing severe threats to public health, including lead and other metals, dangerous chemicals or compounds that become unsafe once they get into water systems, and the water-borne and often deadly Legionella bacteria,” said Kurt Steenhoek, United Association (UA) international representative and ASSE 12001-12063 Working Group Chairperson. “The threat of these potential hazards from water has increased within building water systems that have been left stagnant from low or no occupancy due to work- from-home orders or renovation. It is very important to raise awareness of how plumbing or mechanical contractors who are ASSE Certified, and hire ASSE Certified personnel, are part of the solution in improving water quality and preventing the spread of infections.”
First published in 2014, ASSE Series 12000 has been revised multiple times to stay current with the ever- changing needs and potential risks within buildings due to pathogens, biohazards and infectious disease. Prior to the current revision, ASSE formed a certification advisory group of health care facilities professionals who advised that, in addition to infection control, construction, and maintenance, workers should also be mindful of the environment of care while working in healthcare facilities. To address this, the 2021 revision enhanced the knowledge requirements for the environment of care, as well as incidence response. ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI 12080, “Professional Qualifications Standard for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel,” was also added to the 2021 edition of the ASSE Series 12000.
“Changes to the infection control standards have been made for two reasons,” said Marianne Waickman, ASSE International Professional Qualifications Director. “The first reason is to add more content involving environment of care, construction risk assessments, and incidence response — this will make for a clearer understanding of the responsibilities of construction and maintenance workers and their employers. The second reason is to better organize the standard and certification, considering the changes made in both the 2018 revision and this new 2021 revision.”
ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 12000-2021 contains eight standards, including Standard #12010 for Environment of Care, Infection Control and Construction Risk Assessment; #12020 for Environment of Care, Infection Control and Construction Risk Assessment for Construction and Maintenance Employers; #12060 for Employers and Designated Representatives of Water Quality Programs; #12061-12063 for Water Quality Program Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVAC Technicians, and Sprinkler Fitters; and #12080 for Legionella Water Safety and Management Specialists. Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) and Water Infection Control Risk Assessment (WICRA) matrixes, and other supplemental resources are included in Appendices A-E.