Advisory Committee on Safety



ACOS (Advisory Committee on Safety), which reports to the SMB (Standardization Management Board), deals with safety matters which are not specific to one single TC (Technical Committee) of the IEC. Its task is to guide and coordinate IEC work on safety matters in order to ensure consistency in IEC safety standards.

ACOS is responsible for the assignment of Horizontal and Group Safety Functions to TCs, subject to confirmation by the SMB, which are thereby mandated to prepare Basic Safety/Group Safety Publications. The aim of these publications is to provide a coherent set of safety standards thus ensuring consistency of IEC standards in areas common to a number of TCs.

ACOS is responsible for the following guides:

  • IEC Guide 104 lays down the preparation of safety publications and the use of Basic Safety / Group Safety publications. It also describes the relationship between TCs with Horizontal and Group Safety Functions and product TCs

  • IEC Guide 110 gives background information to technical committees when dealing with safety requirements for products intended to be integrated in a home control system. It covers functional safety as well as conventional safety aspects

  • IEC Guide 112 provides guidelines for using the current editions of IEC 60065 and IEC 60950-1 in evaluating the safety of multimedia equipment

  • IEC Guide 116 gives guidelines for safety related risk assessment and risk reduction for low voltage equipment

  • IEC Guide 117 provides guidance for assessing the risk, to any person, of a burn from contact with hot touchable surfaces of electrotechnical equipment

  • ISO/IEC Guide 51 provides guidelines for the inclusion of safety aspects in standards; this guide was developed in cooperation with ISO

  • ISO/IEC Guide 50 addresses potential sources of bodily harm to children from products that they use, or with which they are likely to come into contact, even if not specifically intended for children

ACOS is actively engaged in preparing workshops around the world with the target to both create greater awareness within product technical committees on the roles of safety aspects and involve users and regulators in discussions on the benefit of the implementation of IEC safety publications.

  • Safety standards for electrical equipment, 1985 Frankfurt, Germany

  • Fire hazard assessment of electrical equipment, 1988 Northbrook, Illinois, USA

  • Functional safety of programmable electronic systems, 1990 London, UK

  • Electrical safety: An integrated approach through IEC standards, 1992 Melbourne, Australia

  • Functional safety of programmable electronic safety-related systems, 1995 Northbrook, Illinois, USA

  • Safety of electromedical equipment: An integrated approach through IEC standards, 1998 Toronto, Canada

  • New Developments in Safety Standardisation: The benefits of basic safety publications for manufacturers and IEC product TCs and SCs, March 2004, Frankfurt, Germany

  • IEC Safety Standards in support of regulatory requirements, May 2006, Beijing, China

  • Risk assessment in IEC safety standardization work supporting regulations, May 2009, Milan, Italy

  • Safety aspects in the area of e-mobility, 20 and 21 February 2013, Frankfurt, Germany

  • Safety considerations for next generation industrial automation, 26 and 27 June 2017, Tokyo, Japan

ACOS Membership
The total number of members including the chairman, but excluding the secretariat may not exceed 16, unless otherwise approved by the SMB.

ACOS comprises:

  • six experts nominated by their NCs (National Committees) knowledgeable in safety matters but having no officer affiliation with any IEC TC or SC (Subcommittee) dealing with safety matters

  • a maximum of eleven representatives of IEC TCs or SCs

Further information

IEC Central Office
ACOS Contact points
PPTs on IEC safety guides
IEC brochure on safety