Summer, sunshine and safety

How standards help you enjoy summer.

Humans innately long for light and sunshine. When the weather is fine, many people enjoy going for a swim, taking a walk in the sun or barbecuing in their own garden. To stay safe during summer you need to take care, but there are many standards supporting you.

1. Tips against sunburns

The best protection against sunburns is to wear adequate clothing: Many manufacturers already mark summer clothing with sun protection factors (SPFs) or ultraviolet protection factors (UPFs). ÖNORM EN 13758 describes a test method for determining the ultraviolet radiation transmittance of apparel fabrics and defines requirements for marking clothing. Compliant clothing is labelled with the symbol shown below.

 

In addition to wearing appropriate clothing, it is important to protect uncovered parts of the body against UV radiation by applying sunscreen. ÖNORM EN ISO 24444 is used to assess the sun protection provided by individual products. This ensures optimum protection for consumers. Good to know: The sun protection factor indicates how much longer you can stay in the sun when you use a sunscreen. If you apply a product with a sun protection factor of 8, this would be 8 times 20 minutes.

 

Wearing sunglasses is as important as putting cream on your skin. To ensure perfect protection against harmful UV radiation ÖNORM EN ISO 12312-1 specifies the physical properties (mechanical and optical characteristics) of sunglasses.

2.   Carefree swimming

Well protected from the sun, you are ready to head to the nearest outdoor swimming pool. The operators have to apply the two-part ÖNORM EN 15288 when they design, build and operate your favourite pool. Information on ideal water quality can be found in ÖNORM M 6215 for artificial outdoor swimming pools.

 

When you go swimming with young children, water wings or other swimming aids are indispensable. To make them as safe as possible, they are subject to ÖNORM EN 13138. It specifies requirements for their structure and fitness for use as well as sizes and markings.

 

Older children are already more adventurous, for example, when they play on a water slide. In this case, too, standards ensure that they are safe. Requirements and technical specifications for the design, calculation and testing of water slides of 2 m in height or more are laid down in ÖNORM EN 1069. Diving platforms and diving springboards installed at public swimming pools, in their turn, are governed by ÖNORM EN 13451-10.

 

If a bather should be in distress, professional help is guaranteed. The pool’s staff who oversee bathing operations, assist bathers and monitor technical installations are trained and examined in line with ÖNORM S 1150.

 

Safety is also ensured for play equipment in the water area of public baths: ÖNORM S 4720 guarantees a maximum level of safety for unspoilt fun.

 

Have you had enough of swimming, sliding and jumping? Then, get out of the water and grab your towel: ÖNORM EN 14697 defines minimum standards for assessing new terry towels.

 

If you prefer natural waters to pools, you can count on water quality in Austria. In Europe bathing waters have to meet the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC. Every year, the European Commission publishes a report on bathing water quality before the bathing season starts. Detailed information on Austrian bathing waters is available in the bathing water database (in German only) managed by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES). ÖNORM M 6230 "Bathing waters – Requirements for water quality, analysis and assessment" applies to the water quality of quarry ponds.

 

If you have enough space and prefer to swim in your own garden, you may have a swimming pond or natural swimming pool built. The requirements for their planning, construction, operation and, if necessary, rehabilitation are described in ÖNORM L 1128

 

To avoid any unexpected misunderstandings it is advisable to have a look at the work contract standard on garden design and landscaping (ÖNORM B 2241) beforehand.

People holding their feet in the water
BBQ

3.  Barbecueing

When you return home, tired from swimming, the barbecue is already ready. Safety comes first here, too. The foundation for the safe design of barbecues is laid by ÖNORM EN 1860 "Appliances, solid fuels and firelighters for barbecueing". Its Part 1 defines requirements and test methods for barbecues burning solid fuels.

 

The numerous requirements that are complemented by test methods for verifying compliance relate, for example, to the stand, handles or gripping devices, motor, coatings and components such as cooking grid, spit, fuel compartment, gravy tray or drip pan.

 

Special attention is paid to stability: Mobile barbecues must not tip over even when placed in a loaded condition on a plane at an angle of ten degrees to the horizontal. In the standardized test, a permanent barbecue has to resist the impact of a bag filled with sand whose mass is ten percent of the barbecue's mass when hit at 1.3 m from the horizontal base with a drop height of 1.0 m. Apart from the barbecues themselves, ÖNORM EN 1860 also defines requirements and test methods for barbecue charcoal and briquettes in Part 2 and for firelighters in Part 3 of ÖNORM EN 1860. ÖNORM EN 1860-4 lays down safety requirements for single-use barbecues.


Thus, nothing stands in the way – at least from a technical perspective – of a enjoyable day of bathing and barbecueing. And with due caution – which cannot be replaced by the best standard – nothing untoward should happen.

Bibliography

Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC 
ÖNORM B 2241 Garden design and landscaping – Contract to provide services
ÖNORM EN 1069 Water slides
ÖNORM EN 13138 Buoyant aids for swimming instruction
ÖNORM EN 13451 Swimming pool equipment
ÖNORM EN 13758 Textiles
ÖNORM EN 14697 Textiles – Terry towels and terry towel fabrics – Specification and methods of test
ÖNORM EN 15288 Swimming pools for public use
ÖNORM EN 1860 Appliances, solid fuels and firelighters for barbecueing
ÖNORM EN ISO 12312-1 Eye and face protection - Sunglasses and related eyewear - Part 1: Sunglasses for general use
ÖNORM EN ISO 24444 Cosmetics
ÖNORM L 1128 Swimming ponds and natural swimming pools – Requirements for planning, construction, operation and Rehabilitation
ÖNORM M 6215 Requirements for the characteristics of water in indoor-, outdoor- and therapy pools
ÖNORM M 6230 Bathing waters – Requirements for water quality, analysis and assessment 
ÖNORM S 1150 Requirements for the training of qualified bath supervisors
ÖNORM S 4720 Play equipment in the water area of public baths – Technical safety requirements