ISEA to Work on Heat Illness National Standard, Wearables Guidance

Two of the International Safety Equipment Association's new projects involve work to bring about a national heat illness prevention standard and to offer help to the industry in managing the data from a host of connected, wearable products.

NEW ORLEANS -- The ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions is important to many exhibitors at the American Society of Safety Professionals' #Safety2019 Professional Development Conference and Exposition here. It's more and more common to see tool tethers and tool bags in booths at this event.

ISEA, the International Safety Equipment Association, is embarking on two new projects, Lydia Baugh, the ISEA director of external affairs, said during a conversation in the expo. The organization and several of its member companies intend to push for a national standard from OSHA that directs employers to protect their workers from heat illnesses. The template that would be used for a national standard likely is the California Heat Illness Prevention standard, which requires employers to provide drinking water, shade, and rest to employees exposed to high heat. OSHA recommends that employers prevent workers' heat illnesses in the same ways, but the agency does not have a specific standard in place on heat illness prevention.

Baugh said the second project is to address connected, wearable products and all of the data they obtain -- such as who is to collect the data, how it should be managed, etc. Many manufacturers are emphasizing connected products that gather many types of data, but currently there's no guidance or standard in place to help end users understand what data should be collected and how it should be utilized, she said. Manufacturers such as 3M and Honeywell may be involved in this project, she said.

"We will put a stake in the ground," Baugh said, when asked for more details on how ISEA intends to proceed on this effort.

ISEA launched its 2019 Safety at Heights campaign last month, focusing it on both falls from height and dropped objects. The campaign will continue throughout 2019 in partnership with the National Association of Tower Erectors and The Associated General Contractors of America.

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