Getting involved

Your input can make a difference!


A European standard is shaped by those who contribute to its development, and benefits from the systematic participation of a wide cross-section of society who represent different interests and areas of expertise such as SMEs, trade unions, consumer or environmental organizations. 


Trade Unions can be active actors in standards development processes, both at national and European level. This requires attending meetings, analyzing written requirements and procedures, and following correspondence among experts. This is the only way workers’ input can make the difference when drafting a standard.


From the standpoint of an individual trade union member, the whole process of producing and revising standard can look very remote, complicated, and resource intensive. However, it is still possible for an individual or a small organization representing workers’ interests to have their say in the standardization process and help make significant changes to the standards impacting working conditions and health and safety.


As an example, when getting involved in standards for machinery safety, personal protective equipment and ergonomics, the use of feedback from operators into standardization ensures that standards are more human-centred, and take into account the human-machine interface in the whole range of conditions of use. This requires Trade Unions to understand how the European standardization system works.


The key aspect is that standardization is a combination of work at national, European and international level, which requires action by national Trade Unions complemented by European networking and coordination.


Provide your expert knowledge through your national CEN Member and/or national CENELEC member. The National Standardization Organization of your country can provide you with a range of services giving help and advice on how best to contribute to standardization. The national members allow you to give your views on standards being developed and offer support and training to those who wish to contribute to the development of standards. Draft standards are published for public comment and standards bodies encourage all civil society stakeholders to use this opportunity to help shape the final standard. Contact your national member to find out more on online commenting tools.

In addition to CEN National Standards Bodies and CENELEC National Committees, you can also get in contact with your national Trade Union to find out how you can get support in your standardization activity. 

For example, in France, the organization ‘EUROGIP’ coordinates numerous experts involved in the development of European or international standards concerning health and safety at work.
In Germany, the organization ‘KAN’ ensures that the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) - interests of various institutions – the social partners, the State, the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and DIN – are collectively represented in opinions on current and planned standardization projects


Through CEN and CENELEC European partners, which are broad-based European organizations, representing particular sectors of industry, as well as consumers, environmentalists and workers.

In particular, you can obtain valuable information, advice and support from ETUC, the European Trade Union Confederation and ETUI, the European Trade Union Institute. While, in some countries, National Standardization Organizations are proactively involving workers by facilitating the participation of one or more national Trade Union Federation(s) in general policy-making and standards development work, the workers’ expertise involved in standardization in other countries may be scarce or not exist. Hence, the key role of ETUC and ETUI in acting as the voice of the European Trade Unions directly in the work of the European Standardization Organizations.

At European level, ETUC focuses its expertise in the field of services and industrial advancement, while ETUI covers the Machinery and ergonomics sectors. In the field of services, ETUC has been so far dealing with standards related to Maintenance and Facility management. In the field of advanced manufacturing, the ETUC is mainly dealing with Intelligent transport systems, biobased products and machine-to-machine communication.

For additional information on general standardization matters as well as for services or industrial advancement, please contact ETUC.

For more information related to Machinery and ergonomics, please contact ETUI.

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