There are several major organizations and codes that help to standardize equipment specifications and safety regulations within the electrical industry.
The first is NEMA, or the National Electric Manufacturers' Association. NEMA is a major force in standardizing electrical apparatus, making it easier for utilities to use different manufacturers' products interchangeably. NEMA issues technical standards and specifications, which are often cited in the manufacturers' descriptive data about its products.
Another important group is ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. ANSI also gets involved in setting equipment and operating standards for utilities.
And, finally, there is the National Electrical Code. This is a comprehensive building code standards book sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association. it's revised every three years and its primary purpose is the protection of life and property. in fact, the original NEC was written in 1897 and was the combined effort of the insurance, electrical and architectural industries. In addition to NEC, the National Fire Protection association issues other standards related to the electrical field, which you'll also want to consult if your region has adopted them as law.