To keep pace with the challenge of today’s global PPE market, the International Safety Equipment Association is implementing a robust online PPE standards database, according to a presentation by Jeff Stull of International Personnel Protection at ISEA’s annual meeting earlier this year.

Stull discussed attributes of global PPE standards, leading PPE standards organizations such as the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the National Fire Protection Association, ISEA’s own product standards groups, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), and the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Right now there is competition between standards-developers in both North America and non-North American, non-European countries, said Stull. Also more interest in product specifications, product classifications, and minimum performance standards.

Stull said the need for a global PPE database is being driven by the global marketplace, the ability of regional or local standards to affect trade decisions, difficulty in locating standards around the world, and the fact that new standards are continually being created and existing standards are being revised.

ISEA first assembled a PPE standards database in 1999, with records sorted by equipment group and region/country. It was updated in 2001 and 2003 with more countries and records added.

The new online database described by Stull covers 15 equipment categories ranging from clean room equipment and first aid kits to PPE, signage and monitoring instruments.

More than 30 regions/countries are in the database — spanning the globe from New Zealand and Sri Lanka to Turkey and Brazil.

The database is searchable by region/country, standards organization, equipment group, or title keyword. Complete new sets of records can be uploaded, and individual records can be added, deleted, or edited. New categories can be set up.

Stull said the database was set to go “live” for ISEA members only this past June.