A standard is a technical document containing information on complying with a specific product directive (e.g. Toy Safety Directive). It assures that a particular product is safe for use and will not cause injuries or death to its users. The use of product safety standards is voluntary unless national/international legislation, contracts or other negotiated agreements are applicable. Currently, more than 20 000 standards are available, covering almost every industry, from technology to healthcare to food safety.
There are different types of safety standards:
- EN standards, also known as European harmonised standards, are an integral part of CE marking. They help manufacturers meet the essential requirements of the EU CE directives. Thus, products that comply with EN standards benefit from an automatic presumption of conformity with the essential requirements of the relevant directives. Compliance with these standards is voluntary but recommended.
- ISO standards lay down the framework for creating a management system to address needed controls and requirements in product quality, environmental management, information security and other areas.
- IEC standards are international safety standards for all electrical and electronic equipment and related technologies. These standards cover a huge range of technologies from power generation and distribution to batteries, office equipment, solar energy, nanotechnology, and many others.