Product safety and standardization

Experts from a variety of accident insurance and standardisation organisations use a paper on “Technical Regulations, Standards and Conformity Assessment Procedures” to not only provide specific examples of the different safety philosophies adopted in Europe and the USA, but also explain the resultant problems.

Safe, health-conscious products make a substantial contribution to the avoidance of both occupational accidents and occupational diseases. With this in mind, one of the goals of the ongoing TTIP negotiations is therefore to further reduce the gap between the EU and the USA in terms of statutory regulations, technical norms and conformity assessment procedures. From the perspective of accident prevention, this requires the establishment of common foundations and the harmonisation of standards and conformity assessment procedures. The necessity of these measures is not, for example, down to safety and healthcare protection requirements in the USA being any lower than those defined in the EU, but instead attributable to differences in legislative, safety and standardisation philosophies and the part product standardisation has to play in them.