A new policy paper was published on 6 January 2015 on the role of standardization in the safety and health of workers at work. It underlines the priority accorded to state rules and regulations and to those of the accident insurance institutions over standards. At the same time, the paper describes the criteria and framework conditions for standardization activity concerning the safety and health of workers at work, and defines the scope and limits of this activity. It also provides information on the use of standards within the body of state regulations and those of the accident insurance institutions.
The "German Consensus Statement on Standardization (pdf) in the Field of Directives based on Article 118a of the EC Treaty" was drawn up to reiterate the fact that the European legal system does not provide for complete harmonization of this area of social policy. At the European level, both standardization experts and the EU Treaty and institutions continue to support the view that standards can only ever be applied to a very limited extent in the field of social policy. Nonetheless, national, European and international standards repeatedly include requirements concerning safety and health of workers at work. As a first step, KAN described in KANBrief 2/09 the current limits of and scope for standardization in this field.