INSPECTOR AND TESTER
Most Americans take the use of standards for granted and give no thought to the people who test products. A calendar by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) may help people appreciate why standards are so important
- January Skis, snowboard bindings, ice hockey skate blades, helmets, and face masks all must pass safety inspections before they appear on the slopes or in a rink.
- February (Heart month) Defibrillators must always be in a “go” mode and must be perfectly calibrated.
- March The “R-value” standard ensures that insulation will resist heat loss, even when March winds blow.
- April Earth Day reminds us that standards for clean water and air have made life better for people, animals, and plants.
- May Playground equipment must meet standards for safety before a school or park will buy it.
- June Bikes, baseballs, mitts, and protective headgear must be approved before sold.
- July Airplanes, airports, boats, and cars require a whole army of specialized inspectors.
- August Standards for exterior windows, doors, and storm shutters were developed as a result of Hurricane Andrew.
- September Labor Day reminds us of the long list of workplace protections that have come about because of labor union trends.
- October Parents insist that Halloween costumes and masks meet standards for visibility and being fireproof.
- November All of the food on the Thanksgiving table, from turkeys to cranberry sauce, has been inspected and declared healthy before it arrives at grocery stores.
- December Safety inspection of toys always gets media attention this month, as consumer groups go beyond the standards set by either the industry or the government.
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