Empowering Safety

CGA’s Vital Role in Shaping Industry Standards

One of CGA’s primary missions is to create safety standards intended for utilization by its members, customers, regulators, as well as the broader public. The CGA library houses an extensive collection of over 380 publications that align with this objective. However, it’s worth noting that CGA’s involvement extends beyond its own standards. The organization actively participates in the formulation and refinement of safety standards that are released by various other standards development organizations (SDOs) including:

  • NFPA: National Fire Protection Association
  • ICC: International Code Council
  • CSA Group (formerly Canadian Standards Association)
  • ISO: International Organization for Standardization

Member Benefits of CGA Participation

  1. CGA membership gives you a seat at the table.

Some SDOs, such as NFPA, have technical committees for each of their standards. The technical committee makes periodic revisions to its standard, such as NFPA 2 (Hydrogen Technology Code) or NFPA 55 (Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code).  Anyone, whether you are a member of the NFPA technical committee or a member of the general public, can submit a proposed change to an NFPA standard.  However, the technical committee makes the decisions on which proposed changes are accepted into the standard. So, there is a tremendous advantage to being on the technical committee and having a seat at the table for the revision process.

CGA holds a membership position within the technical committees for various NFPA standards, including NFPA 2 and NFPA 55. This membership slot is utilized, often by CGA staff members, to present and champion suggested modifications from CGA members during NFPA technical committee proceedings.  The CGA Hazardous Materials Codes Committee (HMCC) establishes an ad hoc code committee (AHCC) for each NFPA standard where we have voting slots.  The AHCC collects PCs from CGA members and resolves those PCs to generate a package of CGA proposed changes.  CGA submits that package to NFPA and advocates for the changes at the NFPA technical committee.  This means that when you generate PCs as part of the AHCC, you will have a seat at the table for the revision process because CGA is representing you and your proposed changes.  You are no longer separated from the revision process.

The AHCC also reviews proposed changes submitted by others and develops CGA’s position on those proposed changes. The CGA member of the technical committee can then vote in favor of or in opposition to proposed changes from others.  This is an example of how you can be a key part of the revision process.

  1. CGA membership gives your company support at the table.

Some CGA members also have voting slots on some SDO technical committees.  For example, besides the CGA voting slot on the NFPA 2 technical committee, eleven CGA member companies have voting slots.  That number allows CGA and its members to have a great influence on the development of NFPA 2.  The AHCC works to obtain alignment between PCs submitted to NFPA by the AHCC and those submitted by CGA members with voting slots. As much as possible, the twelve CGA-related voters (1 from CGA staff and 11 from CGA members) can support one another at the NFPA 2 technical committee.  This support is a great benefit of being a CGA member, particularly when combined with joining the AHCC.

For more details about the AHCC process or questions about this article, feel free to contact CGA Technical Manager Rob Early at rearly@cganet.com or via phone at 703-788-2743.