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Unit 2.1 Basics of Product Safety

An essential precondition for our safety and health at work, at home and in the leisure area is providing well-designed, mature and tested technical devices (here simply referred to as "products") that should be inherently safe and user-friendly.

In Germany, this goal is primarily supported by the implementation of various European general and special directives for technical products in the Product Safety Act (Produktsicherheitsgesetz, ProdSG) and its subordinate special regulations (e.g. regarding machines, electrical devices, toys, etc.), which cover safety engineering aspects from baby pacifiers to large printing presses.

Unit 2.1 mainly works on fulfilling the statutory responsibilities of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA), which are regulated in the ProdSG. The unit supports the authorities in the federal states tasked with market surveillance and informs employees and consumers about various aspects of product safety. The group’s experts further contribute to the improvement of product safety in a consulting role regarding German legislation and the development of European directives as well as national, European and international basic standards.

BAuA's product safety portal is managed by Unit 2.1. and provides important official notifications and other current information concerning 'safe products', which are regularly updated.The information is intended for the authorities responsible for market surveillance as well as for manufacturers, business buyers and non-business buyers (consumers).

The activities focus on

  • Forwarding of messages from the German market surveillance authorities concerning dangerous products to the EU Commission and the EU member states using fast messaging systems ('RAPEX'; 'ICSMS') and vice versa.
  • Official notification of the German purchasing prohibitions for products ('prohibition orders').
  • Official, national publication of the registers of standards which, if applied by designers, enable them to reasonably presume that products designed in accordance with them will fulfil the essential requirements for safety and health of the relevant legal regulation ('Presumption of conformity').
  • Official, national publication of the GS (certified safety) test sites that can investigate the conformity of a product with the essential, applicable requirements regarding safety and health in the respective law and that can award the 'GS Mark' to products that pass the test.
  • Publication of all German recalls of products that are subject to the Product Safety Act and its regulations.
  • Links to the list of products that pose a 'serious risk', which is compiled on a weekly basis from the RAPEX messages received from the EU Commission.
  • Evaluation, compilation and at least annual publication of 'product fault statistics', which include messages of market surveillance authorities as well as lethal work accidents in connection with technical products.


Dr Tobias Bleyer

Head of Unit 2.1 Basics of Product Safety

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