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Standards and Codes

Introduction to standards and codes commonly used by professional engineers in their design and development projects.

What are Codes?

Codes are collections of laws and rules which provide correct procedures to maintain uniformity and safety. Typically engineering and safety codes consist of standards that have been adopted by a governmental authority and made legally enforceable requirements for any individual or organization engaged in activities to which the standards apply. 

Codes are jurisdictional in nature, so it is important to be aware that multiple codes may apply to a given project based on local, state, national, and international requirements.

NOTE: Model codes are typically created by standards organizations to represent an industry-wide standard of performance, usually built through consensus of practitioners of that discipline, that jurisdictions can adopt, either entirely or with modifications, for use in their regions. Model codes are not inherently enforceable but instead are commonly used voluntarily by industry to demonstrate their awareness and willingness to meet performance, uniformity, and safety expectations. Model codes become enforceable only when adopted by a legal and appropriate government agency or body.

Why are Codes Important?

Codes represent the baseline for any development project under consideration and thereby promote safety and uniformity of performance for products that are similar in nature. They provide the framework and enumerate many of the constraints that the product design must meet to be publicly distributed or used. 

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