Standards Primer

Standards are an important part of the world of safety equipment. Manufacturers need them to determine the performance requirements for products they design, make and sell, and the test procedures to assess conformity to those requirements. Sellers, purchasers and users need them to select the right product for the job, and understand its application and limitations. Government agencies incorporate them into workplace safety and health regulations. 

But even though standards are a familiar part of everyday commerce, there are some common misconceptions about them. Did you know that ANSI doesn’t develop standards? That no product can ever be "ANSI approved" or "OSHA approved?" Who is responsible for developing and maintaining standards? How does a product become "approved?" Where does the user go for answers?

The following is quick overview of standards, certification and regulation – what they are, how they are related, and how they apply to safety equipment. If you’d like more information, check out the links to other standards-related websites, or contact ISEA.

 

First of all, what is a standard?
Where do standards come from?
What is ANSI?
Who develops ANSI standards?
Who else develops standards?
What is conformity assessment?
Where does OSHA fit in?
How do products get approved around the world?