Technical Articles

IEC 60950: Safety Requirements for Information Technology Equipment

Title: Ensuring Safe and Secure Information Technology Equipment: An Overview of IEC 60950


In today's digital age, information technology (IT) equipment has become an integral part of our lives, supporting various domains such as communication, business operations, and entertainment. However, as the reliance on technology grows, it is essential to prioritize safety to protect users, avoid potential hazards, and guarantee the uninterrupted function of IT equipment. This article provides an in-depth analysis of IEC 60950, the international standard developed to ensure the safety of information technology equipment, covering its scope, key requirements, and significance.

Understanding IEC 60950:

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) developed the standard IEC 60950 to address the safety requirements for IT equipment used in everyday settings. With its inception in 1999, this standard replaced older regulations and aimed to account for more modern equipment development. The primary objective of IEC 60950 is to mitigate potential risks associated with IT equipment, including electrical, mechanical, and chemical hazards.

Scope of IEC 60950:

IEC 60950 covers a wide range of equipment falling under the definition of information technology, including servers, computers, printers, routers, and storage devices. It sets forth a comprehensive list of safety-related criteria for design, construction, and operation. The standard focuses on crucial aspects such as electrical insulation, withstand voltage, mechanical strength, thermal design, fire resistance, ergonomic considerations, and chemical emissions.

Key Requirements and Categories:

IEC 60950 encompasses various requirements that equipment manufacturers must fulfill to ensure compliance with the standard. These include:

1. Protection against electrical hazards: This requirement ensures that the equipment's internal circuits are adequately insulated and safely grounded to prevent electrical shocks and short circuits.

2. Mechanical robustness: The standard mandates tests for withstanding mechanical stresses, including impact, vibration, and accidental drops, to ensure that the equipment remains functional and resilient in real-world scenarios.

3. Thermal design and protection: Thermal management and appropriate ventilation systems are vital to minimize the risk of overheating and potential fires, enhancing the safety of the equipment.

4. Chemical emissions: The standard places restrictions on potentially hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, ensuring their limited presence in IT equipment to safeguard the environment and human health.

Significance of IEC 60950:

Compliance with IEC 60950 provides numerous advantages for both manufacturers and end-users. For manufacturers, adhering to the standard instills trust in their products and demonstrates their commitment to user safety. Compliance also enables access to international markets, as many countries mandate IEC 60950 certification before allowing the importation and sale of IT equipment.

End-users benefit from IEC 60950 by having access to high-quality and safe IT equipment. Compliant devices undergo rigorous testing, ensuring that they meet stringent safety requirements. Consequently, users can operate IT equipment without concerns about personal safety or potential damage to other property.


IEC 60950, the international standard for safety requirements in information technology equipment, plays a crucial role in promoting user safety and maintaining the integrity of IT devices. By comprehensively addressing electrical, mechanical, thermal, and chemical hazards, the standard ensures that both manufacturers and end-users can trust the reliability and safety of IT equipment. Adherence to IEC 60950 fosters a secure technological environment and a seamless user experience in the rapidly evolving world of information technology.



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