Canadian Standards Association to Offer PDA-Friendly Standards

The Canadian Standards Association will begin offering the C22.1 Canadian Electrical Code in Mobile Device Format (MDF) beginning this spring and will sell additional oil and gas, occupational health and safety, health care, construction, and engineering standards in MDF as soon as they are converted. This allows users to read them on mobile and hand-held devices such as PDAs, full-size Smart Phones, and Pocket PCs.

A 2007 survey of 32,000 CSA customers showed more than half of the respondents currently owned a device that can read the format, and 75 percent were interested in viewing CSA standards on mobile devices. CSA will offer them at its online store, www.ShopCSA.ca; for more about MDF standards and a demonstration, visit www.csa.ca/mobile.

"Mobile devices are gaining popularity across a wide range of vertical markets in North America and are increasingly seen as a convenient way to access and share information," said Suzanne Kiraly, who is president, Standards, for CSA. "As the first known standard development organization to offer standards and related products in an interactive mobile device format, CSA is leading the way in promoting new, innovative technologies with advanced features and capabilities that deliver the best, most efficient products and services to our clients, members, and end users."

CSA said MDF was developed in cooperation with Alcaeus Innovations Inc. of Nova Scotia. While a file of 80 pages in PDF format may consume 3.5 megabytes of memory on a PC, in MDF the same file would consume only 146 kilobytes. A mobile device with a 256 MB memory card could store as much as 1,300 publications, each 600 pages long. CSA's more than 100 OSH standards include titles related to PPE, fall protection, mine safety, machine guarding, lifts and hoists, office ergonomics, accident investigation, and OSH management systems.

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