Carbon monoxide can kill, so gas ovens should be professionally installed and maintained. But oven gloves need not be subject to EU safety rules unless they are labelled “protective”, said Internal Market Committee MEPs voting on draft EU rules on Thursday.
"I welcome the result of today's vote on the Gas Appliances Regulation. It covers a wide range of products, from simple portable cookers to boilers for tower blocks. Their proper installation and maintenance are essential for consumer health and safety", said rapporteur for the gas appliances rules Catherine Stihler (S&D, UK)
"Of course we want clear and strong standards for safety products, where lives can depend on them and in the work place. But there is no need for the EU to get over-zealous and try to take control of our kitchen goods in our own home and rainwear. That would have been crazy and I am glad we have brought some common sense to bear", said rapporteur for the personal protective equipment rules and committee chair Vicky Ford (ECR, UK).
These regulations lay down common rules for placing on the market gas appliances, such as portable cookers or boilers, and personal protective equipment, such as life jackets, bicycle helmets or sunglasses. The rules were amended to use standard EU product law wording on the obligations of economic operators and of “notified bodies” chosen by member states to check compliance with safety standards.
Stopping the "silent killer"
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, MEPs inserted a requirement for manufacturers to state in the customer’s instructions that any installation or maintenance work of gas appliances should be done by professionals, who will have to be able to certify that the appliances deliver “safe combustion”..
They also strongly encouraged member states to ensure that the public is made aware of health and safety risks associated with these appliances and the need for proper precautionary safety measures.
Oven gloves off
By contrast, MEPs voted down a Commission proposal to bring products for private use, such as oven or dish-washing gloves or umbrellas, within the scope of EU “personal protective equipment" rules.
The administrative burden imposed by these rules should match the safety risk, so products that are made to protect people in non-extreme conditions and are not explicitly described as having a “protective function” should remain excluded, they said.
Withdrawing unsafe products from the market
As draft general rules on surveillance to keep unsafe goods off the EU market are still stuck in the Council of Ministers, MEPs also inserted specific provisions on market surveillance for gas appliances and personal protective equipment. These would entitle market surveillance authorities to withdraw an unsafe product from the market, if it presents a risk to health and safety of persons.
The amendments to the gas appliance rules were approved by 33 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions. Rapporteur Ms Stihler was given a green light to start informal talks with the Council, by 35 votes to 2.
The amendments to personal protective equipment rules were approved by 24 votes to 3, with 10 abstentions. Rapporteur Ms Ford was also given a green light to start informal talks with the Council, by 34 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.
In the chair: Committee Chair Vicky Ford (ECR, UK)
Procedure: Co-decision, first reading