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|Editorial: Preventing hazards presented by electric shock
Accidents, occasionally fatal, continue to occur during the use of electrical appliances. Hazards are greater under certain working conditions, for example in wet areas, on very small construction sites, and in agriculture.
|Avoidance of electrical hazards by residual current-operated protective devices
Regular repeat tests and the observance of regulations governing behaviour are essential to the further reduction of electrical accidents involving low-voltage systems1. These measures should however be supplemented by additional engineered measures (s. interview on page 6). A working group set up by KAN has analysed the issue and presented a number of recommendations.
|Electric shock hazards in low-voltage systems
Interview with Ulrich Becker
|Portable residual currentoperated protective devices
The electrical shock hazards presented by the use of portable appliances such as electric tools or extension leads must be reduced further. In order to increase the level of protection, certain appliances should be distributed with portable residual current-operated protective devices (PRCDs), which disconnect the power supply at residual currents as low as 30 mA.
|Intended use and foreseeable misuse
The manufacturer of a machine is obliged to perform a risk analysis for his product. The purpose of the risk analysis is to identify, evaluate and reduce the risks presented by the product during the various stages of its life cycle. Risks are minimized by a three-stage method:
|Noise control - the new EC "Outdoor Noise" directive
Efforts have been underway for some time throughout Europe to reduce the noise of machinery and equipment operated outdoors. The EC directives governing lawnmowers and certain types of construction machinery, for example, have already been transposed into German law.
|EU Memorandum no longer deemed necessary by the European Commission
In the 61st full session of the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work, held in Luxembourg on 19 December 2000, the European Commission’s representative declared that revision of the draft Memorandum on the role of standardization in the area of safety and health of workers at work, which had been drawn up by the Directorates- General III and V, was no longer deemed necessary by the Commission. He substantiated this position by stating that the role of all parties concerned was now clearly regulated by relevant agreements.
|Standardization within the scope of the Pressure Equipment Directive
The Pressure Equipment Directive (PED, 97/23/EC) came into force on 29 November 1999. Its scope covers pressure equipment and assemblies rated and manufactured for a maximum permissible pressure in excess of 0.5 bar and subjected to the corresponding conformity assessment procedures. Concurrent to drafting of the PED, the European Commission had, in 1993, already issued mandates for the drafting of pressure equipment standards. At present, approximately 800 European standards are being drawn up in this product area. The existing national regulations formed the framework for these standards. In order to assure co-ordination of the activities of the technical committees at CEN, a sector forum for pressure equipment has been established.
|Ergonomics guide for the design of medical devices
Annex I of the Medical Devices Directive contains the basic requirements which a manufacturer must meet before he may distribute his products within the Single Market. With regard to the ergonomic design of products, the directive specifies i.e. that “the risk of injury, in connection with their physical features, including [...] ergonomic features” must be excluded, or reduced to the greatest degree possible.
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