Commonly referred to as ISO, the International Organization for Standardization came into being on February 23, 1947, and today marks its 75th anniversary. The group decided to refer to itself this way to prevent having different acronyms in each language, settling on ISO which comes from ‘isos’ in Greek, meaning equal. The body is responsible for developing voluntary, international standards, including both industrial and technical. These are used across our manufacturing/product safety and workplace safety communities. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, ISO is an independent non-profit body, and the largest organization responsible for voluntary international standards with members from 167 countries. “Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges,” according to the organization.
How ISO Was Created
ISO had begun its operations under the name International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA) as early as the 1920s. However, their operations were suspended until after World War II which was when the United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee (UNSCC) approached ISA with a proposal. UNSCC asked for the creation of a body which would deliberate on and decide standards across the globe. In October of 1946, the ISA and UNSCC met in London to create ISO beginning on February 23, 1947.
How ISO Operates
ISO has developed 24,196 standards which cover almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing. Standards help businesses increase productivity by minimizing errors and increasing safety and quality. There is an annual General Assembly meeting where all of the members meet to deliberate on the organization’s objectives going forward, as well as a central secretariat in Geneva which coordinates ISO's activities with 20 rotating members. The body is responsible for highlighting standards goals and setting an annual budget. It also oversees a total of 802 technical committees and subcommittees that are responsible for developing the ISO standards.
ISO Compliant Products and Services
Across the last 75 years, ISO standards have become integrated into almost every aspect of the way we live and operate. Clarion Safety understands that ISO safety standards are important to U.S. manufacturers. We live in a world that’s evermore connected – a global community with an increasingly mobile workforce. Communicating safety across language barriers using standardized and best practice methods is essential if people are to remain safe around the world.
Here at Clarion Safety we’ve been an active member of ISO’s technical committees 145 and 283, responsible for the international development of symbols for signs and products, as well as occupational health and safety management risk control. Our collection of safety labels, signs, and services are designed and developed with inspiration from ISO’s best practice standards, and through our ISO 9001 quality management certification. As more ISO standards come into practice this year, we’re committed to keeping you updated and in compliance. If you have any concerns regarding your workplace or machinery safety protocols, feel free to contact our team of safety professionals today!