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From Research Results to Published Codes And Standards - Establishing Code Requirements For NFPA 55 Bulk Hydrogen Systems Separation Distances


Performing research in the interest of providing relevant safety requirements is a valuable and essential endeavor, but translating research results into enforceable requirements adopted into codes and standards, a process sometimes referred to as codification, can be a separate and challenging task. This paper discusses the process utilized to successfully translate research results related to bulk gaseous hydrogen storage separation (or stand-off) distances into code requirements in NFPA 55:Storage, Use and Handling of Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids in Portable and StationaryContainers, Cylinders, and Tanks and NFPA 2: Hydrogen Technologies. The process utilized can besummarized as follows: First, the technical committees for the documents to be revised were engaged to confirm that the codification process was endorsed by the committee. Then a sub-committee referred to as a task group was formed. A chair must be elected or appointed. The chair should be a generalist with code enforcement or application experience. The task group was populated with several voting members of each technical committee. By having voting members as part of the task group, the group becomes empowered and uniquely different from any other code proposal generating body. The task group was also populated with technical experts as needed but primarily the experts needed are the researchers involved. Once properly populated and empowered, the task group must actively engage its members. The researchers must educate the code makers on the methods and limitations of their work and the code makers must take the research results and fill the gaps as needed to build consensus and create enforceable code language and generate a code change proposal that will be accepted. While this process seems simple, there are pitfalls along the way that can impede or nullify the desired end result – changes to codes and standards. A few of these pitfalls include: wrong task group membership, task group not empowered, task group not supported, in-person meetings not possible, consensus not achieved. This paper focuses on the process used and how pitfalls can be avoided for future efforts.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United States

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