Many manufacturers selling industrial products into the EU market have come to understand at least one of the environmental protection Directives, RoHS — the “restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances.” In this post, I’m going to be looking at another environmental directive: WEEE — the “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment” Directive (2012/19/EU). Continue reading “Are You Ready? WEEE Directive Full Implementation Starts 15-Aug-18″
Safety Label Messaging Basics
Safety label design follows three principles:
- Identify the hazard
- Identify the likely degree of injury that could occur
- Instruct the reader about ways to avoid injury
Designing warnings seems a simple task. However, users may not be English speaking or literate. Depending on the jurisdictions where your product will be marketed, like the EU, text may not be desirable, so pictographic labels may be the most appropriate choice.
The content for your product safety label becomes complex when there are several elements involved in explaining what the hazard is and how to avoid it. But, with the latest update to ISO 3864–2 came a significant modification to the standard that provides a solution to consider in these situations: the new “wordless” format that conveys risk severity.
The wordless label format uses what ISO calls a “hazard severity panel” but no signal word. In place of words, the level of risk is communicated through colour-coding of the hazard severity panel. ISO-formatted symbols as well as what ISO calls “supplementary safety symbols” – symbols without an ISO-colored surround shape – can be used.
Example: Grill Industry Safety Label
As an example, let’s look at a label design created here at Clarion as part of Clarion’s work with ISO/TC 145.
When the barbeque grill industry needed a safety symbol that would warn people not to use grills in enclosed spaces, Clarion volunteered its design department’s skills to develop a new label design. The new label uses the ISO 3864–2:2016 wordless format.
The new safety label design includes a hazard severity level panel at the top. Below the severity label panel are five symbols: a safety symbol that defines the nature of the hazard, and four “supplementary” safety symbols. The supplementary symbols give instructions about “misuses” and “proper use” to help keep people safe. Much like the graphical instructions used in aircraft emergency instructions, the barbeque grill product safety label uses multiple graphics in a progressively illustrated design to communicate a complex message.
There are multiple format options allowed by the ANSI and ISO standards, and it’s important to understand your choices – like this wordless option – so you can make the best decisions for your products or market. To learn more about how the wordless format can help solve complex messaging challenges, you can read Clarion’s recent article on this blog and the feature article in the October 2017 issue of InCompliance Magazine.
Unsure where to start? Clarion is available to help. For more information on effective product safety labeling and resources that you can put to use today, visit www.clarionsafety.com. Clarion also offers complimentary safety label assessments, where we use our experience with the latest standards and best practices to assess your labels and ensure that they’re up-to-date in meeting today’s requirements.
I recently read a press release by UKAS, the UK’s accreditation body, regarding their ongoing discussions with the UK government regarding the impact that BREXIT could have on UK accreditation.
As mentioned by Douglas Florence in a recent discussion on LinkedIn, it’s possible that if not handled well things could end up in a bit of a mess. Mr Florence particularly noted that:
- The UK will no longer have any influence in Machinery Working Group and Horizontal committee. At present, the UK is an important actor in EU Machinery Working Group.
- If UK requirements diverge from EU requirements, manufacturers will need to follow different requirements for different local and EU sales.
- If UK is not in the EU, UK machinery manufacturers will need to find an EU address to quote on their DoC for the “person authorised to compile the technical file”.
- The Machinery Directive has less reliance on Notified Bodies than some other Directives, but it will be undesirable if UK manufacturers have to find a Notified Body (NB) outside the UK if UK NBs no longer exist.
It’s worthwhile noting that these points are NOT certain to occur. Depending on what UKAS can do to influence Downing Street, these points could be avoided or could have less impact than is currently foreseen by industry insiders.
It seems that UKAS is trying to ensure that UK accredited bodies are either:
- able to maintain their existing accreditation or
- at least maintain recognition via mutual recognition agreements with the EU.
As the say in their press release, it is still unclear what direction the UK Government is taking in this matter. Hopefully, we will find out soon!