Jocelyn Pedder believes adults have an obligation to children the world over.
"I have always been passionate about the importance of protecting children as much as possible, because they are so dependent on others," she explains. "They don’t make the decisions, their parents do."
With this belief, the Vancouver mechanical engineer and research scientist has been sharing her expertise in motor vehicle injury prevention with the international standardization community for 24 years. In 1984, she became a member of the ISO technical sub-committee responsible for passive safety crash protection systems (ISO TC-22/SC-12). She later attended the first meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)’s working group for child restraint systems in motor vehicles (ISO TC-22/SC-12/WG-1) and also served on the working group for traffic accident analysis methodology (ISO TC-22/SC-12/WG-7).
Her work on these committees has led to real change in Canada: in 2002 Transport Canada brought in regulations requiring that all vehicles manufactured in Canada feature Universal Anchorage System (UAS) attachments to fasten child restraint seats to the car.
For these contributions, Dr. Pedder is one of eight individuals, committees and businesses receiving a Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Award at a gala ceremony on June 3, 2008 in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador.
The SCC Awards are presented biennially to people and organizations that go above and beyond the call of duty while working in Canada’s National Standards System (NSS). The 2008 SCC Awards Presentation will take place on June 3, as part of the NSS Conference in St. John's, NL.
The NSS has about 15,000 volunteers who devote time and energy to national and international standards development, conformity assessment and other standardization activities. Hugh Krentz, the SCC’s Chairman, says Canada’s standardization community would not survive without the efforts of these individuals and organizations.
"Our volunteers form the backbone of the NSS. Their hard work and dedication have contributed greatly to Canada's position as a world leader in the area of standardization." says Mr. Krentz. "I congratulate each of the 2008 award recipients and all those nominated. They represent the very best of our National Standards System."
In addition to Dr. Pedder, there are five other individuals honoured with an SCC Award in 2008. Pat Keindel receives the Jean P. Carrière Award; T. Duncan Ellison is recognized with the SCC Leadership Award; David Weatherill, takes home the SCC Distinguished Service Award; Philippe Fontaine is the recipient of the SCC Award of Excellence; and Claude Potvin receives the McMahon Dedicated Service Award.
Leber/Rubes Inc. is honoured with the 2008 Corporate Commitment Award; and the Canadian Advisory Committee to the ISO technical committee responsible for quality criteria of the service and performance indicators of service activities relating to drinking water supply systems and wastewater systems (CAC/ISO/TC 224) receives the SCC Special Achievement Award.
"Each of this year's awards recipients has demonstrated the utmost in commitment and dedication to voluntary standardization activities," adds Mr. Krentz.
In Dr. Pedder’s case, standards development was a logical step in her day-to-day work of researching injury prevention resulting from motor vehicle accidents. She says she recognized early on the value that standards have in laying out how something should operate and be made.
"I saw the benefit of standards for performance requirements," she adds. "They set the bar, to make sure no matter what the product is, no matter how it’s designed, it will provide some minimal level of protection."
Dr. Pedder became involved in international standardization work after moving to Canada, and seeing how national standards in the U.K., New Zealand and Canada stood up against each other.
"There’s benefit in harmonizing as long as you don’t drop to the lowest common denominator," she says. "There’s tremendous benefit in working with other countries around the world; we learn off them and they learn off us."
Dr. Pedder intends to continue working on developing international standards indefinitely. She recently finished chairing a task force studying how easy UAS is to use. She plans to contribute this information to a standard under development, which will cover the methods and criteria for usability of child restraint systems and their interface with vehicle anchorage systems (ISO/CD 29061).
"One of the big problems for child car seats, is they are often complicated to use," Dr. Pedder contends. "There has been a very strong effort through ISO to try to make child seats easier to use. There are existing standards that require that 'the seat must hold together, the harness mustn’t break, the child test dummy must not move forward more than a given distance in a frontal crash test,' but there’s nothing to say that a parent must be able to use them easily".
"So there has been really a very big drive for that, and I think it’s fair to say that Canada led the way," she says. "Work to promote more user-friendly child seats has continued through the development of usability rating criteria at the ISO level with the participation of representatives from many countries."