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|Editorial: European standardization policy
In December 2004, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions concerning the role of European standardization. The conclusions emphasize once again that international standards intended for use within the European Union must comply with the statutory framework of the EU. Thanks to a German position brought about by a prompt KAN initiative, employers‘ and employees‘ representatives have again been included in the list of stakeholders. CEN, CENELEC and ETSI are also referred to explicitly as the European standards organizations.
|Raising a "formal objection to a standard"
Should a European standard fail adequately to support the requirements of European Directives, the EU Member States may contest the presumption of conformity to which the standard gives rise by raising a formal objection. This procedure must be distinguished from the safeguard clause, which applies in the case of an unsafe product. The latter leads in turn to a formal objection only where the defect in the product is attributable to deficiencies in the standard.
|Product safety and product liability
The required safety level for the placing on the market of products in Germany is defined by the GPSG and a large number of standards. Similar regulations apply throughout the EU. Observance of these standards gives rise to a presumption of conformity with regard to the legality of distribution. In the event of damage or injury, no such presumption may be claimed during liability litigation; however, standards still play a key role in such cases.
|Standardization continues to be a key strategic element for industry
Standardization: a key element for economic growth, social progress, and environmental protection; and consequently also for knowledge transfer and the opening of markets. In November 2004, following World Standards Day, the BDI1 presented its position paper, “9 Theses on the Significance of Standards for German Industry in the 21st Century“, which takes up the national standardization strategy of DIN. This article presents some of the concepts formulated within the position paper.
|Safety cabinets for cytotoxic drugs: an important safety measure in the health sector
A revised edition is about to be published of the German standard DIN 12980, “Laboratory furniture – Cabinets for handling cytotoxic drugs“. This standard describes the requirements placed upon safety cabinets used in particular by pharmacies to protect personnel against cytotoxic drugs.
|Occupational health and safety in Switzerland
Switzerland has adopted innovative approaches in recent years for the enhancement of health and safety protection. The associated process of implementation is still in progress, and is the factor shaping current occupational health and safety activity. EU provisions governing the placing on the market of equipment and devices have also been transposed in Switzerland.
|European project on safety in the use of fork-lift trucks
In 2003/2004, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work made financial resources available for the promotion of workplace safety in small and medium-sized enterprises. The objective of a project concerning the safe use of forklift trucks was to gather practical experience gained on the ground in order for it to be given greater consideration in standardization.
“An Enlarged Europe in a Globalized World“ is the title of the 2nd European Conference on Standardization, Testing and Certification in the Field of Occupational Safety and Health, which will be held in Paris on 20 and 21 October 2005.
|Council conclusions concerning standardization
In its meeting held on 21 and 22 December 2004, the EU Council of Ministers adopted conclusions concerning standardization. The Council recommends that greater use be made of standards in the European legislatory process, and that further efforts be made to improve the efficiency, coherence and transparency of the standardization processes. Advocacy of the European standardization system should be stepped up at international level.
|Social responsibility of organizations
On 15 December 2004, the committee for “Social responsibility of organizations“ held its constituent meeting at DIN.
|A new director at the NAM
Harald Riekeles, the former director of the DIN standards committee for mechanical engineering (NAM) and CEN Rapporteur for machinery safety, retired at the end of 2004.