Technology law and substance policy – safety for employees and consumers

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Under the heading of technology law, BDI deals with thematic fields such as the safety of industrial products, the operational safety of industrial installations and the technical aspects of occupational safety and health. Under the heading of substance policy, BDI is active in the regulation of chemical substances.

Hence, ensuring the highest possible level of safety for users of industrial products and for employees in production is at the heart of these thematic fields. For German industry, the responsibility to which this gives rise is a core element of its self-image. Safety in production and safe products are an indispensable component of “made in Germany”.

A comprehensive body of rules is maintained for this purpose in cooperation with the competent state institutions. This needs to be continually adapted to reflect new developments. At the same time, it must be workable in practice and remain lean and free of contradictions. It is therefore important to discard outdated provisions and to maintain space for innovation. Not least, it should be determined which risks are to be deemed acceptable and which risks have to be tackled comprehensively. In this regard, preservation of our competitiveness must also be an essential criterion. BDI addresses this balancing act conscientiously in many ongoing projects.

In a word: the protection of consumers against dangers posed by products and employees against dangers at the workplace is in the fundamental interest of industry for ethical and economic reasons.

For this reason, at EU level BDI is flanking the new product safety regulation and market supervision regulation intensively. Requirements on safe products are developed and met inter alia on the basis of standardisation and accreditation. That is why BDI is also active here.

BDI flanks the many technical dimensions of occupational safety and health as well as installation safety, inter alia, to the further development and concretion of the German ordinance on operational safety and the German ordinance on hazardous substances. This commitment also extends to protection of employees against noise, vibrations and electromagnetic fields.

In substance policy, the comprehensive requirements on manufacturers, importers and users of chemical substances imposed under the European REACH and CLP regulations have an impact in the dimensions of environmental and consumer protection and occupational safety and health. BDI unreservedly supports the objectives of these regulations and has therefore been accompanying companies for many years with implementation of the complex individual provisions. But at the same time, BDI also campaigns for lean and pragmatic implementation. Because only what is comprehensible and workable in practice can be realised in everyday operations.