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Dansercoer

Where To Look For Obligatory (safety) Codes?

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Dear all,

 

I was wondering whether there's a method to make sure the list of obligatory (safety) codes to be met is complete when starting a project? Isn't there an (international) umbrella organization/website that gathers most codes, so chances of not knowing and thus omitting codes are limited?

 

Also, is this usually the task of a designer (in-house vs. freelance vs. design-entrepreneur), a subcontracted solicitor, an engineer, etc. ?

 

I just don't want legal problems...

 

Thanks in advance!

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Guest newt @ MWE

Hey

 

Depending on where the product is being released or offered there are different governing bodies. Theres CSA, UL, ASTM, ANSI, NSA and more. More or less they have similar requirements but there are subtle differences.

 

As far as where to find these codes, I doubt you'll find them for free. Depending on the organization and or product they can run anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars.

 

So your options are:

A- Purchase a copy of their standards for reference in designing the product, then submit it for testing. Then submit it for testing with a pretty good chance of passing.

B- Submit the product to the safety standards organization, where they will test it and either pass or fail it. This comes at a cost as well. Then base changes on the test results.

 

As far as responsibility goes, its rare that a designer will be held lagally accountable, but its not impossible. A professor of mine recounts a story where he designed the large roto-molded playground equipment in the sixties. He had 90 degree joints where the slide pieces came together and someone decided to stick razor blades into the joints so people cut themselves when they slid down. Because of his contract, he was held accountable and sued several times over. Again, its a rarity, but not impossible

 

If you have concerns around this, make sure it is spelled out in the contract wether it is yours or the clients responsibility. If its yours, make sure you build in the cost of the testing. There is no one individual who is responsible for ensuring a product meets codes. Depending on the company it could be the designer, client, subcontractor, engineer, etc.

 

So, again, the standards are pretty closely guarded and updated regularily, so I doubt you'll find them for free anywhere.

 

Hope this helps

newt

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Thanks a lot for your reply!

 

I find it weird that people would have to pay to comply with the law though. (A technical regulation provides technical requirements, either directly or by referring to or incorporating the content of a standard, technical specification or code of practice.)

Also, wouldn't this be unaffordable for designers making limited edition lighting for example?

 

Manufacturers and exporters need to know what the latest standards are in their prospective markets. To help ensure that this information is made available conveniently, all WTO member governments are required to establish national enquiry points and to keep each other informed through the WTO — around 900 new or changed regulations are notified each year.

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Guest newt @ MWE

My guess would be that the internals of the light would be purchased, such that they were designed up to code. This info should be avaliable from the manufacturer. As far as the shade distance, bulb spec and things like that, the manufacturer of the lighting internals should provide basic recomendations. If your working a lighting company or independantly, designing unique lighting for a house or building, it would fall into this "stock internals" category.

 

As far as one offs are concerned, these are sold as art pieces and not consumer electronics and (I believe but don't quote me on it) they do not fall under code.

 

hope this helps

newt

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