IEC 62368-1 Gains Prominence as Eventual Replacement for IEC 60950-1 & IEC 60065

As the weeks and months march on, IEC 62368-1 elicits more chatter.  Designed to replace IEC 60950-1 2nd edition (IT equipment) and IEC 60065 7th edition (A/V equipment), the new product safety standard is not a merging of these two standards.

As new devices and applications emerge at an unprecedented rate, and technologies continue to converge, 60950-1 and 60065 have had to undergo numerous modifications, making them more complex and difficult to use.  IEC 62368-1 is designed for long-term stability and relevancy, regardless of product advancements.

Nearly ten years in development, 62368-1 covers a broad range of products, and allows for the minimalizing of national or regional differences.  Technology-neutral and performance – not prescriptive – based, the new standard is expected to help engineers integrate safety compliance early in the product design cycle and help manufacturers speed time to market. 

IEC 62368-1 Ed 1.0: Audio/Video, Information and Communication Technology Equipment — Safety Requirements is based on the principles of Hazard-Based Safety Engineering (HBSE).  Like the major risk-based change with IEC 60601-1 for electro-medical equipment, HBSE represents a paradigm shift for audio-visual, communication, and information technology products.

HBSE is a process that utilizes a three-block model to address the transfer of hazardous energy to a body part.  It describes methods to mitigate hazards and measure safeguard effectiveness.

IEC 62368-1 also has some new requirements to enhance product safety, including:

  • Methods for classifying energy sources
  • Definitions for ordinary persons, instructed persons, and skilled persons
  • Child accessibility test probe

Edition 1.0 of IEC 62368-1 was published as an international standard on January 10, 2010, with a minimum five year effective date recommended by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 108.  The second edition is planned to be published in 2013.  Final implementation of IEC 62368-1 second edition is likely sometime between 2015 and 2018. There will be a transition period where 60950-x, 60065, and 62368 will all need to be maintained.

See other product safety-related blog posts.

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