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 directives and regulations for technical products in the Product Safety Act (Produktsicherheitsgesetz, ProdSG) and its subordinate special regulations and implementing laws (e.g. regarding machines, electrical devices, toys, etc.). These cover safety engineering aspects from baby pacifiers to large printing presses in the European single market.
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 and the Market Surveillance Act (MüG). The unit supports the authorities in the federal states tasked with market surveillance and informs about various aspects of product safety. The group further contributes to the improvement of product safety in a consulting role regarding German and European legislation as well as national and European basic standards.
Group 2.1 also carries out research and development projects to further develop and clarify current challenges in the context of product safety. Among other things, the focus is on the risk assessment of products and currently on issues relating to the provision, selection and safe use of particle-filtering half masks in infection protection.
The activities of the Committee for Workplaces (ASTA) and the Committee for Operational Safety (ABS) are conducted on the basis of statutory provisions.
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 the established notification systems ("EU rapid alert system Safety Gate"; '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.
- The publication of the misuse of a GS mark if, for example, a manufacturer uses the GS mark or advertises with it although the GS body has withdrawn the conferring ("GS mark misuse").
- Publication of German recalls of products that are subject to the Product Safety Act and its regulations and implementing laws.
- Links to the list of products that pose a 'serious risk', which is compiled from the EU rapid alert system Safety Gate messages received from the EU Commission.
- Evaluation, compilation and publication of 'product fault statistics', which include messages of market surveillance authorities as well as lethal work accidents in connection with technical products.