The significance of standards (EN, ISO and other standards)By Koos Gouws
The European Parliament has encouraged the use of harmonized standards (standards that have been accepted in all member states through a process of harmonization) to ensure the free movement of products, services and processes throughout the European Union. These standards are generally developed by recognized European Standards Organizations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI). These standards can be used to demonstrate that products, services or processes comply with the relevant EU regulations.
Many of these standards have been published as EN (European Norme / European Standards) or ISO standards, and many have been adopted by local standards organizations all over the world as national standards (South Africa is no exception).
The standards cover many products, services and processes. Examples are:
• Conformity assessments and management systems
• Consumer and worker protection
• Energy efficiency
• Electric and electronic engineering
• Mechanical engineering
The use of the standards is voluntary. Manufacturers and other economic operators are free to choose another technical solution to demonstrate compliance with the mandatory legal requirements. However, in some cases laws and regulations may refer to standards or even make compliance with them compulsory.
For further information and to find out how SHEQ Management Systems can assist you in this regard, please contact us.