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April 21, 2016

SEI Becomes Subsidiary of ASTM International

For Immediate Release

ArcWear is proud to announce that our FlashCert program partner, Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), has become a subsidiary of ASTM International.  ArcWear has long served on ASTM committees and serviced the PPE community, doing most of the world’s arc flash testing with the Kinectrics laboratory.  All FlashCert partners offer services with a common interest of keeping users in the PPE community safe while on the job—an interest that is also well aligned with the goals of ASTM.

SEI is a non-profit, third-party, ISO 17065-accredited certification body that provides certification for many products, including personal protective equipment and athletic protective gear such as riding helmets.  ASTM International is a standards organization that publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for many industries, including safety and personal protective equipment. ASTM’s existing certifications will move to SEI, and this merger will allow ASTM to expand certification services offered and provide an independent, not-for profit body to certify PPE.

In recent years, conformity assessment and certification have been hot topics in the PPE industry. Unlike the EU, with its PPE Directive and CE marking requirement, the American market has little uniformity regarding PPE evaluation and conformity. In 2014, ANSI/ISEA published standard 125, American National Standard on Conformity Assessment of Safety and Personal Protective Equipment. This standard was proposed to be added into NFPA 70E, and another conformity assessment standard is underway at ASTM under subcommittee F23.50. The release of these documents and the merger could mean more uniform testing and certification processes for safety and personal protective equipment under the ASTM umbrella.

This merger allows ASTM to move into the product certification category under the SEI entity and will allow for new levels of PPE standardization, conformity assessment, and certification, which could be a game changer in the PPE Industry. We look forward to the certainty and stability this merger can bring to PPE in the U.S. market. Congratulations are in order for SEI, ASTM, and Pat Gleason, the President of SEI and new VP of Certification at ASTM.

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