Increasingly, technical standards are being drawn up at the international level. This development is being bolstered by international trade agreements, with the result that both European and German standards are increasingly based on the outcomes of international standardization activities. This is also true of standards related to occupational health and safety. It is therefore becoming ever more important that the OH&S sphere exerts an effective influence, as early as possible, on ISO's and IEC's standardization work.
KAN had already commissioned a survey in 2002 on the possible consequences of the WTO/TBT agreement for standardization relevant to occupational health and safety. Here you can download the full text of this exhaustive analysis of the agreement and of the standardization policy discussion. The introduction contains a summary and the resulting recommendations by KAN.
TTIP and occupational safety and health
The discussion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the USA and the EU raised questions among the public particularly with regard to consumer protection legislation and investment protection. Less attention had been paid to the possible implications of TTIP for public health and occupational safety and health.
For this reason, the DGUV and KAN contacted representatives of the European Commission in 2014 with regard to "non-tariff barriers to trade" and "standardization", in particular in order to discuss concerns regarding mutual recognition of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures. KAN will continue to monitor the progress of negotiations actively and comment where applicable.