Standards & Standards Development
As a conformity assessment body, the bulk of testing work that ICS Laboratories performs involves testing products according to standardized test methods and determining whether or not they meet standardized performance specifications, both of which are often simply referred to as “standards”. Essentially, standards create a basis for assessment and evaluation. These product standards are developed by national or international standards development bodies that are composed of professionals from both the public and private sector, many of whom are physicians, engineers and other technical experts. Standards development bodies exist at the national level in most countries (ANSI in the United States, CSA in Canada, BSI in Britain, etc.) and international standards are developed by ISO.
In the case of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), standards are developed and consistently refined to the end that the equipment achieves its intended purpose and is safe for the user. Standards define the methods for testing products to specified criteria. This ensures uniformity where it is required and mandates a baseline for performance and certain characteristics that a standards body deems vital to product quality and/or public health and safety.
The technical professionals at ICS Laboratories spend considerable time lending their knowledge and experience in the field of testing protective equipment to the various organizations that develop product standards and test methods for protective equipment. ICS contributes to the standards-development efforts of the following organizations:
- ANSI – American National Standards Institute
- ASTM International
- CSA – Canadian Standards Association
- ISO – International Organization for Standardization
- NOCSAE – National Operating Committee on Sports and Athletic Equipment
ICS’ involvement with the development of product standards and standard test methods in the PPE industry ensures that our staff is aware of the most applicable and current standards that are relevant to our client’s needs and are intimately familiar with the intricacies of each.