Are You Ready? WEEE Directive Full Implementation Starts 15-Aug-18

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).

As of 14 August 2018...ALL waste electrical and electronic equipment comes under the directive.


The WEEE Dir­ect­ive requires pro­du­cers of elec­tric­al and elec­tron­ic equip­ment who sell their products in the EU to oper­ate a recyc­ling pro­gram. This dir­ect­ive exemp­ted indus­tri­al products in the first years of its imple­ment­a­tion, focus­ing primar­ily on waste con­sumer elec­tron­ics and elec­tric­al equip­ment. As of 14 August 2018, the trans­ition peri­od ends and ALL waste elec­tric­al and elec­tron­ic equip­ment (EEE) comes under the dir­ect­ive, except those spe­cif­ic classes exemp­ted in Art­icles 3 & 4.  How does this affect machine build­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers of oth­er kinds of products? Read on for the answer to these ques­tions and more. 

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Are You Ready? WEEE Dir­ect­ive Full Imple­ment­a­tion Starts 15-Aug-18″

Safety Label Format Solutions for Solving Complex Messaging Challenges

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Safety Labels

Safety Label Messaging Basics

Safety label design fol­lows three prin­ciples:

  1. Identi­fy the haz­ard
  2. Identi­fy the likely degree of injury that could occur
  3. 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.

Complex Content

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.

Example of the new “wordless” safety label format option allowed by ISO 3864-2:2016.
Example of the new “word­less” safety label format option allowed by ISO 3864 – 2:2016. (Label design ©Clari­on Safety Sys­tems. All rights reserved.)

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.

Example Grill Industry Wordless Safety Label
Example Grill Industry Word­less Safety Label (Label design ©Clari­on Safety Sys­tems. All rights reserved.)

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.

Learn More

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.

Get Help

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.

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Acknow­ledge­ments: Clari­on Safety Sys­tems, LLC
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Brexit Update – CE Marking and the UK

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:

  1. able to main­tain their exist­ing accred­it­a­tion or
  2. 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!

Read the press release.

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Acknow­ledge­ments: Douglas Florence as quoted in the text.
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