On 25 March in Bonn (Germany), EUROGIP and the INRS for France, and the KAN for Germany, signed a joint declaration to reaffirm, in an increasingly globalized context, positions that they share on topical standardization issues relating to occupational health and safety and confirm their “excellent cooperation”.
The signatories of the “Bonn Declaration”:
- Emphasize the need to maintain the high level of health and safety expected as a result of the harmonized European standards which come to support the European directives.
- Reject the use of “new deliverables”, such as the CEN Workshop Agreements (CWA) or Publicly Available Specifications (PAS), to govern aspects of occupational health and safety. Although drafted under the aegis of the standardization organizations, these documents do not reflect a consensus among the stakeholders.
- Demand that limits be defined regarding the role of standardization in the service sector in defining the qualifications and competencies of the person providing the service.
- Invite the European standardization organizations to assess whether new draft standards coming within the scope of application of Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union “would help the Member States improve occupational health and safety or would on the contrary result in duplication of work and conflicts with the national regulations of EU Member States”.
- Declare themselves “concerned” by the draft international standard for occupational health and safety management systems (ISO 450001) which they consider offers no value added while exerting stronger pressure for certification. “That would above all affect SMEs which would have to be certified to obtain orders as subcontractors or to take part in tender procedures.”
EUROGIP, the INRS and the KAN will continue “to identify common objectives, to establish instruments for cooperation and look for ways to jointly influence the standardization process while benefiting from gains in efficiency”. In their statement, the directors of these organizations called on players in other countries to support their position.
EUROGIP, the INRS and the KAN are co-founders of the Network of OH&S experts involved in standardization, tests and certification: Euroshnet.
This Network aims to facilitate exchanges between experts working in occupational risk prevention organizations in order to define joint positions on the issues discussed. In particular, it organizes conferences and its website proposes discussion forums. The Network’s Steering Committee also has ties with the CIOP (Poland), the INSHT (Spain) and the FIOH (Finland).