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Standards and consumers

The consumer benefits from standardization in several ways, such as:

▸Consumer involvement : The consumer is invited to be a participant in the standards-development process ; hence the consumer has a voice in the process. Once products and processes are marketed, whether they need to comply with technical regulations or not, standards are useful in a legal sense when dangerous or non-compliant consumer goods have to be identified ;

▸Consumer safety : Products from many suppliers complying with the same underlying safety or compatibility standards provide the consumer with choices regarding other elements such as cost and design. This in turn means that consumers can be secure in the knowledge that the product will be safe and will integrate with common systems such as power supplies, telecommu-nications standards, the internet and common forms of machinery ; and

▸Sustainability : Standards are widely used in occupational health and safety systems, environmental protection and increasingly in determining the social aspects of sustainable development, ultimately benefitting the society.