STANDARDS IN FOCUS:
Head injuries are a major cause of death and disability among users of motorized two-wheel vehicles.
This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in a report on Road Traffic Injuries Prevention, which provides facts about the use of safety helmets by road users.
The report states that the lack or inappropriate use of helmets has been shown to increase the risk of fatalities and injuries resulting from road crashes involving motorized two-wheelers.
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has facilitated the development of a national standard Specification for labelling of commodities – Part 17: Labelling of protective helmets for road users to assist consumers who are users in differentiating between helmets, which meet specific standards for impact (crash) protective, and retention system strength and those which do not.
The standard also provides manufacturers, retailers and sellers with the necessary information to carry out their obligation to describe the commodity in a truthful, informative and non-descriptive manner so as not to create deception.
According to the scope, the standard specifies requirements for the information to be provided on labels of protective helmets for road users, offered for sale in Guyana. The requirements apply to protective helmets for use by pedal cyclists and motorcyclists.
Notably however, the requirements do not apply to protective helmets for use in open motorized vehicles/boat, All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), non-motorised sports, automotive racing, karting, competitive skiing and equestrian activities.
The standard firstly provides a list of general requirements for labels affixed to, or marked on a commodity or its external package. These requirements include that the label shall give a description of the commodity and shall provide adequate information to a potential purchaser enabling him or her to select the helmet best suited for his or her needs.
The information shall include the mass, volume, measurement or size as applicable and shall give an accurate description of the components of the commodity as is necessary.
For the detailed requirements, the standard requires that each helmet be permanently and legibly marked in such a manner that the marking can be easily read without removal of the padding or other permanent parts of the helmet. The information should include the name and address of manufacturer, country of origin, model designation, size, certification mark and instruction to users.
Meanwhile, where an outer package is supplied, it shall also be clearly and legibly marked with the manufacturer’s brand name, model designation, size, the nominal mass in grams of the helmet and the activity/activities for which the helmet is designed.
Importantly, the standard requires that helmet for road users be accompanied by a brochure or swing-tag, which shall include information regarding the correct fit of the helmet, cleaning methods, and the manufacturer’s advice on the extent of protection.
The standard clearly assigns the responsibility for labelling to the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer of helmets in the course of trade or business.
This is to ensure that helmets are labelled in accordance with the requirements of this standard.
Manufacturers and distributors of helmets for road use are encouraged to acquire a copy of the standard to ensure those offered for sale meet the labelling specification, which guide users.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
For further information, contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0064-66. Please visit our website: www.gnbsgy.org and like our Facebook page: gnbsgy
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