ISEA Conducts its Standardization Activities as an Accredited Member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
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.
- 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.
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. For more information, visit the ANSI/ISEA Z87 Accredited Standards Committee page.
The Standards Developing Process
Standards administered by ISEA product groups achieve national recognition through an ANSI-approved consensus review method:
- ISEA initiates a standards project, either a new standard or a revision of an existing standard, and submits a Project Initiation Form to ANSI.
- ANSI publishes a notice of the proposed project, with a 30-day comment period.
- ISEA sends an interest survey to a list of organizations or individuals with subject matter expertise or may be affected by the standard. (Users, government agencies, safety and health professionals, conformity assessment bodies and other experts.)
- ISEA assembles a balanced list of reviewers from the survey responses, they become the consensus group for the standard.
- The standard is drafted by a product group, approved by the company principals of the group and the ISEA Board, and 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, the standard is subject to a simultaneous broad public review, ensuring that all interested parties have an opportunity to participate in the process.
- 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.
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Participating in the ISEA Standard Consensus Process
Transparency and consensus are cornerstone principles in the development of voluntary industry standards drafted by ISEA product groups. By participating as a member of the formal consensus body having final authority on whether a candidate standard is submitted to ANSI for acceptance as an American National Standard you can:
- Influence the quality and direction of standards that have direct impact on worker safety and health
- Directly contribute to documents that are codified by regulatory bodies, recognized as industry best practices or incorporated as part of commercial contracts
- Gain competitive knowledge by learning of revisions before they’re published
- Enhance your understanding of relevant standard and trends that can increase efficiency and reduce costs to your businesses
- In addition, you may be able to satisfy requirements tor continuing education or professional development hours
Consensus bodies represent the views of a cross-section of balanced stakeholder interest categories:
- Producer – A manufacturer of the product covered by the standard or components thereof
- User – An organization that uses, specifies or purchases the product covered by the standard
- Government – An agency or department that has a regulatory or other interest in the product (government agencies that use the product fall under the User category)
- General Interest – An organization that has a special interest in this standard due to safety, technical or other requirements or an individual expert with knowledge in the area(s) covered by the standard, but who neither produces nor uses products covered by the standard.
Individuals agreeing to participate as a member of the consensus body are expected to review the candidate standard with a critical eye based on professional experience and applicability of the document to the stated interest category. Ballot review periods are generally 45 days and additional review may be necessary based on the input received during the balloting phase. ISEA manages this process through electronic communication and no travel is required.
If you are interested in serving on a consensus panel for any ISEA-administered standards, contact Cristine Fargo for details.
Working with the Government, and the International Standards Community
- Where government standards are in effect, ISEA provides important industry counsel to the regulatory bodies, including NIOSH, MSHA and OSHA.
- ISEA developed and published the first ANSI standard for conformity assessment of personal protective equipment, and maintains close liaison with NIOSH, MSHA, and other conformity assessment bodies. The Safety Equipment Institute was founded by ISEA as an independent third-party certification organization, and became part of ASTM in 2016.
- The association works to influence international standards and conformity assessment for safety products, working through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).