Unit 2.1 Basics of Product Safety
An essential precondition for our health and safety at work, at home and in the leisure area is the provision of 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 the various European general and special directives for technical products in the Product Safety Act (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 (BAuA), which are regulated in the ProdSG and include support of the work of the authorities in the federal states tasked with market surveillance and information of employees and consumers regarding the different aspects of product safety. The experts of the group further contribute to the improvement of product safety in a consulting role regarding German legislation and the development of European directives and national, European and international basic standards.
The product safety portal of the BAuA is managed by Unit 2.1 and provides important official notifications and other current information concerning 'safe products', which is regularly updated by the group and intended for the authorities responsible for market surveillance as well as for manufacturers, business buyers and non-business buyers (consumers).
This work focuses 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 that make it seem reasonable to presume that products designed in accordance with them will fulfil the essential requirements for health and safety of the relevant legal regulation ('Presumption of conformity').
- Official, national publication of the GS test sites that can investigate the conformity of a product with the essential, applicable requirements regarding health and safety 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 '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.