Standards Work – A CETA Investment for the Future
"You better start swimming... Or you'll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changing." Bob Dylan
Much has changed since CETA funded Underwriters Laboratories to develop UL 1776, the pressure washer safety standard, 18 years ago. The picture has changed in two ways...
1. At the prodding of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the body that oversees U.S. Standards, UL is rewriting many of its standards to make them as compatible as possible with their international counterparts;
2. The processes for developing and revising standards are now entirely open - UL serves as a guide/moderator, but decisions about standards and work on them is done by panels composed of manufacturers, distributors, users, general interest parties and UL staff.
The bottom line; as UL proceeds to harmonize its standards with the international versions, no single entity, not even trade groups or UL itself, gets to call the shots on what goes into a standard. All of this activity involves so many people that UL has established a special online meeting area for all of the committees: the Collaborative Standards Development System.
CETA is Not Asleep at the Switch
CETA holds a seat on the panel for UL 1776, as do several CETA members. CETA members also make up the bulk of the Working Group that has been formed to develop the successor standards to UL 1776. Additionally, CETA is involved in a Working Group that is laying the basis for an eventual tri-national safety standard that will be identical in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. CETA Continues to Work for the Industry!
Work Continues on Product Safety Standards
Ceta participated in two important product safety standard meetings in June...
Part 1 Standard
One event was the third three-day Working Group meeting for the development of a unified Part 1 product safety standard for North America. CETA is one of several trade associations who hold seats in this group, which met at the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) headquarters in Toronto. The standard, identified as 60335-1, covers general safety requirements for a wide range of products, including pressure washers. Representatives of American, Canadian, and Mexican industries and the standards organizations UL, CSA, and ANCE have drafted about three-quarters of the unified standard.
The 60335-1 (Part 1) standard will eventually be accompanied by a Part 2 standard (60335-2-79) that contains requirements specific to pressure washers. Ultimately, these two documents will replace the present UL 1776 safety standard for pressure washers.
Part 2 Standard
Another event was the second three-day Working Group meeting for the development of the new 60335-2-79 standard, hosted by CETA in Minneapolis. CETA is represented in this group, and the CETA Managing Director holds the group's Secretariat position.
The group is engaged in the arduous task of reconciling the more than 1500 provisions of the present UL 1776 standard with the international standard. Progress is good, with about one-quarter of the present standard having been dealt with.
Underwriters Laboratories has designated the group as a Technical Harmonization Committee (THC), with the official designation THC 335H. The group's next meeting will be held in August at UL's Northbrook (Chicago) headquarters. Meanwhile, UL is implementing a dedicated, online collaborative work area for the group. THC 335H is presently comprised of 18 representatives of manufacturers, suppliers, a distributor, consultants, trade associations, and UL.
Attention Suppliers and Distributors – UL 1776 Panel Openings
Since 2001, UL has delegated considerable responsibility for the pressure washer safety standard, UL 1776, to a panel. The panel is composed of manufacturers, end users, and "general interest" parties. As you might guess, there is a waiting list for manufacturers to get on the panel. On the other hand, UL is looking for panel members such as suppliers and distributors.
This is for real – all changes to the standard must be evaluated and approved by the panel. In fact, a Working Group composed of panel members is presently drafting the standard that will eventually replace UL 1776. If you are interested in the safety standard, here is your chance to be involved. No travel is required. All panel work is carried out by e-mail, fax and regular mail. If you are interested or want more details, contact the CETA office or http://ulstandardinfonet.ul.com/stp/call_4_members.html