Electrical safety and EMC
(4 sub topics)
European and International standards on Electrical Safety and Electromagnetic Compatibility. CENELEC and IEC are the main organisations producing standards on this topic. Many of their standards are cited in legislation in many regions of the world
Electrical safety is a topic of major importance, as electricity can kill or severely injure citizens and cause damage to property. European and international standards facilitate that products and installations are safe. Some of these standards are Harmonised Standards under the Low Voltage Directive, or the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive or the Radio Equipment Directive and often are used not only by manufacturers, importers or exporters but also by consumer protection representatives or by enforcement authorities (such as market surveillance authorities, customs, etc) and used in the context of Rapid Alerts of non-food dangerous products (RAPEX).
The main hazards associated with electricity are electric shock and burns from contact with live parts, injury from exposure to arcing, fire from faulty electrical equipment or installations or explosion caused by unsuitable electrical apparatus or static electricity igniting flammable vapour or dust.
Electrical equipment may also lead to dangerous situations due to a lack of functional safety, which means a malfunction in a piece of equipment performing a critical function may create a hazardous situation.
Electromagnetic fields in the human environment is another topic of societal and citizens concern, and this area is increasingly being covered by standardisation at the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC).
Moreover, electromagnetic compatibility - EMC - , including requirements for emission and immunity, is regulated in many countries and regions in the world and extensively covered by European and International standards.