Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Industry News: ISA Transfering Overlapping Standards to UL

In the United States there are many standards organizations that fall under the umbrella of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). All these organizations follow the general ANSI protocol for developing consensus standards.

In the area related to gas detection the International Society of Automation (ISA) has two main committees, ISA12 Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Locations that is to be used in hazardous (flammable/explosive) atmospheres and ISA92, Performance Requirements for Industrial Air Measurement Instrumentation Related to Health and Safety; i.e. performance requirements for portable and fixed gas monitoring systems. The gases covered include oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and chlorine.

At one time the ISA had separate standards for each gas, but in recent years these have been consolidated into a standard for oxygen monitors [ANSI/ISA-92.04.01, Part I-2007 (R2013) Performance Requirements for Instruments Used To Detect Oxygen-Deficient/Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres] and a standard for toxic gases monitors [ANSI/ISA-92.00.01-2010 Performance Requirements for Toxic Gas Detectors] along with documents providing advice on installation, operation and maintenance of the monitors. 

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is both a standards organization and an OSHA approved Nationally Recognized Testing Lab with particular emphasis on safety.  UL has a standards committee that develops standards for explosive atmospheres, and more recently has adapted many of its explosive atmosphere standards to parallel the International Electrical Commission (IEC) standards IEC 60079-x.

The IEC is an international standards organization that develops standards with the consensus of national standards organizations (ANSI for the United States). Obviously there is considerable overlap between the work of the UL 60079 and the ISA12 committees and both organizations have worked hard to ensure compatibility between them and the IEC standards.

UL and ISA both recognize the inefficiency of having two organizations doing the same work and have agreed to combine the effort. The two organizations have agreed that the ISA12 committee and subcommittees will be transitioned to the UL 60079 committee. 

Obviously since many gas monitors are designed to operate in hazardous atmospheres, there is overlap between the work and personnel between the ISA12 and ISA92 committees and under the agreement the ISA92 committee will also be transitioned to UL. ISA will continue its standard development efforts in its primary area of expertise, automation and control systems.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Industry News: New Study Shows ROI for Safety Spending

Several studies in the past have shown that organizations gain a net return on investment for dollars spent on workplace safety, for examples see the list compiled by OSHA. A recent study published by Fabius et al in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine supported this conclusion.The abstract to the article is shown below:

Objective: To test the hypothesis that comprehensive efforts to reduce a workforce's health and safety risks can be associated with a company's stock market performance.
Methods: Stock market performance of Corporate Health Achievement Award winners was tracked under four different scenarios using simulation and past market performance.
Results: A portfolio of companies recognized as award winning for their approach to the health and safety of their workforce outperformed the market. Evidence seems to support that building cultures of health and safety provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This research may have also identified an association between companies that focus on health and safety and companies that manage other aspects of their business equally well.
Conclusions: Companies that build a culture of health by focusing on the well-being and safety of their workforce yield greater value for their investors.
"The Link Between Workforce Health and Safety and the Health of the Bottom Line: Tracking Market Performance of Companies That Nurture a “Culture of Health”"; Fabius, R.; Thayer, R.D.; Konicki, D.L.; Yarborough, C.M.; Peterson, K.W.; Isaac, F.; Loeppke, R.R.; Eisenberg, B.S.; Dreger, M.; Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine September 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 9 - p 993–1000

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Industry News - AAMI Publishes Chemical Sterilization Standard ST58

The Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has received final approval from ANSI for publication of the standard 'Chemical sterilization and high-level disinfection in health care facilities' ANSI/AAMI ST58:2013. 

This standard has been completely revised since the prior edition, and for the subjects particularly close to ChemDAQ's heart, there is significantly more information in this revision on workplace safety including expanded annexes with safety information for each of the chemical sterilant chemicals that are approved by the FDA and a new annex on gas and vapor monitoring. ChemDAQ's own Richard Warburton and David Hilliker were members of AAMI Chemical Sterilants Hospital Practices Working Group that developed the standard.

We sure that this standard will provide valuable information to all helathcare facilites using chemical sterilization and high level disinfection.The standard will be available for purchase from AAMI's website next week.