UL Standards & Engagement Presents at 71st Annual SES Conference
September 2, 2022
On Aug. 3-5, the Society for Standards Professionals (SES) hosted its 71st Annual Conference at the Charleston Marriott in Charleston, S.C., with UL Standards & Engagement serving as the keynote sponsor of the event. Speakers from UL Standards & Engagement joined more than 45 standards and conformity assessment leaders in presenting on industry trends and innovations. Additionally, Dr. David Steel, executive director of UL Standards & Engagement, signed the Declaration for Gender-Responsive Standards and Standards Development from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) onsite at the conference.
As the keynote sponsor, UL Standards & Engagement provided opening remarks to introduce the keynote speaker, Michael Boulware Moore. Standards Manager Mark Ramlochan delivered the opening remarks:
“Our organization is once again thrilled and very proud to be the keynote sponsor as we reengage, reconnect and reimagine, together with our colleagues here in standards and conformity assessment,” Ramlochan said.
The conference was the first held in person since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and Safety Impacts of Voluntary Consensus Standards
David Wroth, director of data science, moderated a panel on methods for measuring the impacts of voluntary consensus standards in reducing injuries, illnesses and deaths. Panelists included Diana Jones of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and Scott Ayers of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), who discussed the inherent difficulties in assessing the impact of standards and methods for addressing potential confounding factors that could also account for changes in the occurrence of incidents. The panelists also presented case studies on their own methods for assessing the impacts of voluntary consensus standards. In addition to moderating the panel, Wroth also presented on UL Standards & Engagement’s analysis of publicly available data sources – such as those from the CPSC – in its Voluntary Standards Adoption (VSA) model for establishing a credible cause-and-effect relationship between the publication of a standard and the subsequent reduction in incidents and injuries.
“The SES conference gave us the opportunity to share our work with the broader standards community and solicit feedback,” Wroth said. “The response was overwhelming, with standing-room only for the panel discussion that included the US CPSC and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). After the session, the panel spent almost 20 minutes fielding questions and engaging with people from the audience who wanted to share their ideas and ask questions. It’s clearly an important topic for the field of standards development!”
Introducing the UL Standards Virtual Community
Engineering Program Manager Denice Durrant also spoke at the conference, presenting on the UL Standards Virtual Community - an interactive digital platform created in 2021 to help demonstrate the significant influence standards have on everyday life. Using a dynamic cityscape scenario with clickable icons and informative flyout text boxes, the Virtual Community illuminates the role of standards in the marketplace and connects stakeholders to the importance of hazard-based safety engineering and science. At present, the Virtual Community features three stations on the interactive map: a marina, an electric car and a hospital. Future phases will open additional areas on the map, such as a virtual house, airport and fire station. During the presentation, Durrant led discussion on the capabilities of the Virtual Community and provided a preview of the virtual house, which is expected to go live soon.
"As a first-time SES conference attendee, it was indeed a pleasure to present the UL Standards & Engagement Virtual Community and connect this new platform with standards professionals from around the world," Denice said. "The workshop was designed to not only introduce the Virtual Community but also to share knowledge about how our organization is truly about Safety Science in Action."
More than 110 people attended the conference from more than 25 provinces, regions and states. A post-conference survey found that 100% of attendees said the conference was a good use of their time and would recommend attending to a colleague. The 72nd SES Annual Conference is scheduled for March 29-31, 2023 in Portland Oregon. A call for proposals for the conference is open through Sept. 27, 2022.