KAN Report 32
|KAN 10 years on, 02/2004
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In its ten years of existence, the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN) has played a major part in representing German OH&S interests in the field of standardization and ensuring that they are taken into account in standards. It has thus also become a key element in Germany’s OH&S-related prevention system.
Ten years have passed since KAN was set up and began its work on 11th February 1994. Its establishment was preceded by a phase of intensive discussion concerning the structure and tasks of such an institution. Ultimately, this led to a body which, through its inclusion of all the stakeholders and, primarily, through its work, has won considerable respect in Germany and the rest of Europe. KAN has become a permanent fixture in the sphere of OH&S-related standardization. People take its advice seriously, seek its guidance and expertise and its official comments carry significant weight. Of course, like other institutions, KAN is subject to the influences of political and economic developments and has to react to changing circumstances. One of its reactions has been to become increasingly involved in international standardization in addition to European standardization and to ensure, via DIN, that Germany’s national OH&S interests are taken into account in that standardization from an early stage. The current debate regarding the possibility of standardizing Corporate Social Responsibility, an idea which KAN completely rejects, is just one example of the useful work it does. In the future, the most important task will be to make sure that standards are geared to workplace needs, particularly OH&S requirements, and thus Eugen Müller, BDA Chairman of KAN Managing Director and Head of the BDA’s Social Security Department to help maintain and strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy in the European and global context. With standardization becoming more and more internationalized, it is essential to align European OH&S standpoints as much as possible and work to ensure that international standards are prepared in such a way that they can be incorporated into the European body of standards without modification.