ISEA Standardization Program

For over 70 years, ISEA has been the association for manufacturers of safety equipment used by people doing work. Today, the association's scope covers the broad range of safety and personal protective equipment.

ISEA conducts its standardization activities as an accredited member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The association's product groups draft standards that achieve consensus either through a formal review by a panel of all interested parties or by submission to an accredited standards committee. With either method, the standards undergo rigorous public review before they are approved as American National Standards.

ISEA members, management and staff are experienced in the process of standardization, including development of standards, management of the consensus process, publication and distribution, interpreting standards for users, and advocating their use.  In addition to the standards managed by ISEA, the association is officially represented on other national, multinational and international standards committees for safety equipment.

Where government standards are in effect, ISEA provides important industry counsel to the regulatory bodies, including NIOSH, MSHA and OSHA. The association also works to influence international standards and certification for safety products, working through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISEA maintains a global data base of safety equipment standards, which is available to member companies.

ISEA is a supporter of third-party certification for personal protective equipment, and maintains close liaison with NIOSH, MSHA, and other conformity assessment bodies. The Safety Equipment Institute, the leading non-government certification organization for PPE, was founded by ISEA and is now independent.

Note:  The following procedures apply to ISEA standards that are developed within ISEA and become American National Standards through consensus review.  ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 for protective eyewear is developed by an independent accredited standards committee administered by ISEA.  Contact ISEA for more information.

Standards administered by ISEA product groups achieve national recognition through an ANSI-approved consensus review method.  When ISEA initiates a standards project, either a new standard or a revision of an existing standard, it submits a Project Initiation Form to ANSI.  ANSI publishes a notice of the proposed project, with a 30-day comment period.  At the same time, ISEA sends an interest survey to a list of organizations or individuals that have expertise in the subject matter or may be affected by the standard. These organizations represent users, government agencies, safety and health professionals, conformity assessment bodies and other experts.  From the responses to the survey, ISEA assembles a balanced list of reviewers who will become the consensus group for the standard.

After being drafted by a product group, and approved by the company principals of the group and the ISEA Board, the standard is sent to the consensus group for review.  Comments from these reviewers must be addressed, and their vote determines whether the standard will achieve the American National Standard designation.  In addition to this consensus group review, the standard is subject to a simultaneous broad public review, ensuring that all interested parties have an opportunity to participate in the process.   Click here for information on standards currently available for review.

The standard becomes a designated American National Standard only when all objections received during this review period have been resolved, and evidence of consensus and due process are demonstrated. 

ISEA publishes and sells the standards it develops, and is responsible for interpreting the standard when questions arise.  Product groups collect comments and questions on standards, which are used in development of subsequent revisions.  All ANSI standards must be revised, reaffirmed or rescinded at least every five years.