Cultural variations in the world’s regions – taken from a Safety perspective!
Dear Reader, why bother with these differences? Well, because many companies using safety technology, use the same ISO standards, norms and guidelines for safety, regardless of where they are in the world. This can be a challenge if the local standards and norms in the home country deviate adversely to where the application is installed.
4 regions of safety requirements
Let us start from a subjective approach, where the main regions of the world are based on safety requirements in industry and logistics.
In my opinion, it would look as follows:
1. North Europe, historically driven by the Nordic countries.
2. North America (The USA and Canada)
3. South America
4. Far East (Not homogenous)
Safety – a mega trend
Certainly, development in safety is going much faster in regions, where previously the progress has been slow. On the other hand, even mature markets show significant changes and improvements caused by the need for more safety. This is a large and impressive trend.
In Europe and partly North America, significant and positive regulations are created by the authorities. In other parts of the world, the requirements are much more rudimentary or even nonexistent. E.g. in China for many years a yellow line on the floor was enough to the employer. Today, it is changing very quickly, but our expectations are that it will take at least 5 years before this materialises in a good safe environment.
Good suppliers contribute to a safer world
An example of when safety isn’t no. 1 on the agenda is that a company from outside Europe reflected that compliance with the Machine Directive (that regulates safety on machines) was not necessary when exporting into Europe. If a machine is delivered to Europe, it has to be CE marked and comply with the Machine Directive 2006/42/EC. If not, the possible consequences may harm both the company and the workers and can cause large problems both for the company in question and the people who are working with or on the machine.
Hence, there are many variations and differences potentially causing problems, which of course, can be solved with the help of good suppliers. We must continue to work for the promotion of higher safety levels! By working with international standards, you can set local regulations aside and facilitate business worldwide. The working environment will, therefore, be safer and better for the world.