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To address the critical nature of pathogens and other infectious diseases that play dangerous roles throughout the industry, ASSE International developed the one-of-a-kind, voluntary consensus ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 12000, Professional Qualifications Standard for the Health and Safety of Construction and Maintenance Personnel. This unique standard series sets minimum criteria for the training and certification of craftspeople and maintenance personnel on how to safely work in an environment with potentially deadly diseases. The Series 12000 addresses the need for all maintenance personnel to become proficient in identifying and managing potential situations where there may be exposure to pathogens and infectious diseases.

Making this standard more encompassing and valuable, the Series 12000 also sets minimum criteria for training and certifying maintenance personnel on the proper methods of protecting a facility's occupants. The standard acknowledges that during maintenance activities, tradespeople are not the only individuals exposed to hazards, and the standard addresses the responsibility of personnel to protect occupants and operations from pathogens, diseases, and hazards that may be present - especially within health care facilities.

SCOTT HAMILTON is Senior Director of Competency Development Services for IAPMO Training and Education. A 25-year veteran of the trades, Hamilton joined IAPMO Training and Education after holding the position of ASSE International Executive Director and serving the prior 14 years as president of Plumbers Union Local 75 in Milwaukee, for which he also served as training director of the Educational Fund since 2004. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Hamilton completed the United Association's Instructor Training program and has been teaching for more than 20 years.