As Tyndale extends our managed arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing programs into Canada, we invite you to follow along in our Proud to Protect Canada series. While many of the topics in this series contain Canadian-specific content, there are some topics that are relevant on both sides of the border. We hope you enjoy “meeting” our Canada Team, exploring engaging and relevant content, while learning about our unique solution and the benefits it provides to companies and wearers alike.
In previous episodes of our Proud to Protect Canada series, we reviewed the safety standards governing PPE and protective clothing related to arc flash and flash fire hazards and the Canadian standard governing high-visibility safety apparel. In the video below, watch Tyndale Canada Sales Director, Paul Castelli and Tyndale Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Technical, Scott Margolin, as they talk to Canada Technical Advisor, Sara Olsen about what a standard is and how it comes to fruition in Canada.
What Is a Standard and What Is a Test Method?
As Sara states, in the flame resistant (FR) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) world, standards are defined as a series of test methods that test different qualities of the fabric or garment. The standard specifies pass/fail requirements for those performance qualities.
This brings us to the next obvious question: What is a test method? A test method is a standard way to test and compare properties. Test methods define how to run the test in a repeatable way so that the variability in results is decreased even when carried out by different people or in different labs. Test methods themselves do not typically have pass/fail requirements; the standards define those requirements.
When it comes to arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing, standards are hazard-specific and help us assess the performance of protective clothing against the core risks associated with the hazard – such as arc flash or flash fire. For example, flammability is a major concern in areas where flash fire risks are present, so test methods that look at the flammability and afterflame of fabrics are built into flash fire standards along with minimum acceptable performance criteria.
For more information, check out our educational video library, which organizes videos by hazard type.
How do Standards Come to Fruition in Canada?
Through standards committees! Standards committees are composed of a group of interested parties, usually a balanced mix of end-user wearers, manufacturers, and general interest parties. Different perspectives are present, so no single group sways any given decision. Each organization has processes by which new standards and test methods are produced, and changes to existing standards and test methods are made. Decisions are made by group consensus and in compliance with the organization’s practices.
In North America, there are several standards bodies that have protective clothing standards and test methods, the most common being:
- The American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM), now ASTM International
- The American Society for Textiles Chemists and Colorists (AATCC)
- The Canadian Standards Association or CSA Group
- Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)
Typically, there is an application process to join committees – usually describing your background, qualifications, and interests in a particular area. If you’re thinking of joining a standards committee, it’s a great way to make your voice heard and help shape PPE standards.
Stay tuned for the next episode in this series which dives into Provincial vs. Federal Regulations in Canada. Visit our series hub to read episode summaries and catch up on all topics in the series.
Series: Proud to Protect Canada
Follow along with this series to explore our educational resources for companies and workers based in Canada. You’ll meet the technical and market experts from our Canada team and find everything from the basics on the hazards, to PPE and labeling requirements, a closer look at key safety standards and the hierarchy of standards and regulations in Canada, employer responsibilities under the Canadian Labour Code, and more.