Company Overview  -  [Français - INTRODUCTION À SAFETY EQUIPEMENT INSTITUTE]

The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1981 to administer the first non-governmental, third-party certification program to test for public safety, and certify a broad range of safety equipment products. The purpose of SEI’s certification program is to assist government agencies along with users and manufacturers of safety equipment in meeting their mutual goal of protecting the workers and consumers with safety equipment in keeping with recognized standards and the current state of the art.

Certified products include:

  • Helmets baseball, bicycle, equestrian, football, industrial, lacrosse, softball & polo
  • Safety eyewear, face protectors
  • Emergency eyewash and safety showers
  • Fall protection equipment
  • Fire service SCBA and rescue tools
  • Fire fighters' helmets, boots and gloves for wildland, USAR, proximity and structural fire fighting
  • Gas detector tube units
  • Hazardous materials protective ensembles
  • CBRN Protective Ensembles - general industry & law enforcement
  • Bomb Suits
  • Law enforcement restraints
  • Protective clothing for emergency medical operations
  • Personal alert safety systems (PASS) for fire fighters
  • Fire service life safety rope
  • Equestrian vests
  • Athletic equipment shin guards, gloves, lacrosse balls, baseballs
  • Escape Smoke Hoods
  • Thermal Imaging Cameras

The SEI certification programs include annual product testing of all certified safety and protective equipment product models as well as annual quality assurance audits conducted at the manufacturer’s facility. A subsidiary of ASTM International, SEI is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its programs are operated in accordance with the standard, ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. This means that SEI complies with ISO requirements pertaining to impartiality, confidentiality, product testing, audit & inspection and certification.

Policy decisions are handled by SEI’s Board of Directors which includes representation from the fire service, organized labor, users of safety and protective equipment, the insurance industry, and a safety equipment manufacturer. The Board provides top level organizational commitment to ensuring impartiality, confidentiality and elimination of conflicts of interests for the SEI Certification Programs.

SEI certification programs are voluntary and available to any manufacturer of safety and protective equipment. In addition to ensuring compliance with safety regulations, SEI certified products provide consumers with an additional level of assurance that products bearing the SEI label have been manufactured to meet the level of quality and performance of the most current comprehensive standards existing for the product. All product model testing is conducted in accordance with the current standards that are promulgated for various products by such organizations as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASTM International, Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). SEI does not develop standards, but actively participates in technical committees (such as ASTM and NFPA) that develop performance testing criteria.

What are the Benefits of SEI Certified Safety Products?

Both compliance testing and quality assurance audits are repeated at regular intervals to maintain certification. The manufacturer submits to on-going scrutiny of their products and processes by independent third-parties and agrees to recall non-conforming products.

Another important benefit of SEI certification is the additional assurance granted to purchasers and users of safety products. It means products bearing the SEI mark have been manufactured to meet the level of quality and performance of the most current comprehensive standards existing for the product.

While SEI does not assume responsibility for product performance, SEI's certification mark indicates that the manufacturer is concerned and responsible, and that the model for that product has met the recognized standards for testing and quality assurance.

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