Hazard- and risk-based approaches to product design and manufacturing may be required by some standards, but they are also simply good practice. These approaches require a more holistic view of the product, intended use, skillset of users, materials, environment, and end-of-life. They allow for flexibility in future enhancements in technology, and they can help manufacturers create products that go beyond mere compliance to a safety standard but rather meet the needs of consumers. Such considerations for today and the future can help ensure success.
Technology often changes more quickly than standards. Consumer trends also adapt and evolve more quickly than the industry can keep up. It’s beneficial to take a more holistic look at the scenarios that could result in hazards or other risks a manufacturer wants to avoid. Some product standards such as IEC 60601-1 and 61010 recognize this and include requirements for risk assessment and management. Others such as IEC 62368, take a hazard-based approach. In either case it is a good idea for manufacturers and designers to take these approaches upon themselves because the result is simply a better product.