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Tag: Safety and Standardization

EPA Regulation of Nanomaterials Needs to be Standards Based

EPA Regulation of Nanomaterials Needs to be Standards Based

This Industry Week article on proposed EPA regulation on nanomaterials has me thinking that the reporting and possible testing requirements will be premature and as a result, will be too onerous for small companies already struggling to stay afloat.  This is because these companies and the EPA do not yet have standards available that provide uniform guidance on safe handling and disposal of manufactured nanomaterials, nor guidance on characterizing these materials for inhalation toxicity assessments.  Read more [...]
Toyota Should Take a Lesson from Burner Controls Industry

Toyota Should Take a Lesson from Burner Controls Industry

The sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles may be due to software issues; if this is the case then there are valuable lessons for all standards developers.  So many products now incorporate electronic controls, yet many have not been evaluated to determine what happens when a failure occurs.  For mechanical systems we have tried and tested methods to handle failure - a vehicle's hydraulic brake system has a cable emergency brake back-up. The aerospace industry builds in triple redundancy Read more [...]
New Push to Protect Children from Battery Ingestion

New Push to Protect Children from Battery Ingestion

CBS' "The Early Show" featured a segment this morning on a topic near and dear to the hearts of some NEMA members:  ingestion of button cell batteries by children.  NEMA represents the manufacturers of dry-cell batteries, including button cell batteries that are found in such products as pocket calculators, wrist watches, hearing aids, and toys.  While statistics by the National Capital Poison Control Center (NCPCC) show that ingestion of such batteries is Read more [...]
To NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Means of Egress Panel: Listen up!

To NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Means of Egress Panel: Listen up!

When it comes to the illuminance requirements for exit signs, all exit signs need to be evaluated on a level playing field.  It's not as though smoke or fire near a doorway will choose to ease up because the exit sign above the door won't be bright enough for people to see.  Not to mention, ambient lighting has an adverse effect on exit sign visibility, especially in smoke. Every exit sign needs to meet the illuminance requirements in UL 924! So why does the NFPA Read more [...]
Tamper-Resistant Receptacle Requirements in 2008 NEC Adopted in 29 States

Tamper-Resistant Receptacle Requirements in 2008 NEC Adopted in 29 States

With 30 states having completed adoption processes for the 2008 National Electrical Code® (NEC), support for section 406.11, which requires tamper-resistant receptacles to be installed in new homes, has been overwhelmingly positive. Twenty-nine of the 30 states have adopted the 2008 NEC with the tamper-resistant Code intact. These include: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Read more [...]
SAE Should Adopt Trinational Cable Tie Requirements

SAE Should Adopt Trinational Cable Tie Requirements

The SAE AE-8C2 Committee, which is responsible for maintaining SAE AS 23190, Straps, clamps and mounting hardware: Plastic and metal for cable harness tying and support, should strongly consider adoption of the trinational cable tie requirements in the soon-to-be-approved North American adoption of IEC 62275, Cable ties for electrical installations. In its current state, AS 23190 does not recognize the improvements in cable tie material technologies that NEMA members have introduced Read more [...]
Investigators call Soldier’s electrocution “negligent homicide”

Investigators call Soldier’s electrocution “negligent homicide”

The death of a soldier electrocuted while showering at a military facility in Iraq a year ago may be changed from accidental death to negligent homicide.  Army criminal investigators say that KBR, the largest US contractor in Iraq, may have failed to have qualified electricians and plumbers undertaking installation work at military camps.    Up to 18 other deaths of military personnel and contracts have been blamed on faulty wiring or grounding. The installation codes and Read more [...]
Nanotech Start-ups: Can Other People Build It?

Nanotech Start-ups: Can Other People Build It?

I read an excellent article from the October 3, 2008 edition of the N.Y. Times Magazine about the world of budding renewable energy companies and the role and function of venture capital companies in supporting them in their efforts to commercialize products.  The article provided four basic questions, the answers of which determine largely whether a small start-up company survives; “Can it be built? How hard is it to build it? And if you can build it, can other people Read more [...]
Of Clocks and Teakettles…

Of Clocks and Teakettles…

 Last week Cosmologist Stephen Hawkins unveiled the spectacular new Corpus Christi clock at Cambridge University.  The clock has no hands but uses rotating rings and flashing blue LED lights to indicate the time.  The mechanism is entirely mechanical and the fantastical insect or Chronophage (time eater) astride the device is a tribute to the 18th century English clockmaker John Harrison inventor of the grasshopper escapement mechanism.  The clock was designed and funded by inventor Read more [...]
IEEE Standards Board Approves Project to Develop Copycat Standard?

IEEE Standards Board Approves Project to Develop Copycat Standard?

From the "What could they have been thinking?" desk.   On December 7, 2005, the IEEE Standards Board approved a Project Approval Request (PAR) for a new project to develop a standard for "Ground Rod Electrode, Clamp & Coupling Specification" (http://standards.ieee.org/board/nes/projects/C135-30.pdf). The project was intended to revitalize a standard, C135.30-1988, which was originally developed by ANSI and allowed to expire back in 1993.  The scope of the project Read more [...]