Since 2008 more than 20 employees at the LEGO Group have had the task of verifying that over 2,000 raw materials used in LEGO® products satisfy the requirements of the new EU Toy Safety Directive which came into force this weekend.
The new directive lays down stringent demands for the materials and the related documentation used in toy manufacture. The LEGO Group’s way of performing safety assessment has been in place for many years and LEGO products always live up to the strictest safety standards globally. As a response to the new Directive the LEGO Group has chosen to expand and refine its approach.
Since late 2008 the company has worked intensively to ensure that all products comply with the new legislation. On July 20, 2013, the final part of the directive – the chemical requirements of the EU Toy Safety Directive – came into force.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of the LEGO Group, states:
“Product safety is our highest priority, and we have always been committed to providing products which live up to the strictest requirements globally as it is essential to us that children all over the world can enjoy the safest possible LEGO play. The new Toy Safety Directive enforces high demands for safety performance, and we fully support this.”
“ I’m proud that we with our input to the new legislation can actively participate in pioneering the general level of toy safety – and therefore I’m pleased to announce that we are dedicated to taking the lead in this respect and that we fulfill all requirements of the Directive.”
More than 2000 raw materials verified
The LEGO Group has chosen to interpret the new Directive in the strictest manner possible. As a result every individual substance, raw material, LEGO element and LEGO set is screened to verify compliance with the Toy Safety Directive as well as other legislation, e.g. US legislation, and also with the Group’s internal requirements. Applying such a high level of analysis goes beyond compliance with legal requirements to ensure that LEGO bricks are made of only the absolutely safest and cleanest materials.
“After verifying that all LEGO products and raw materials already lived up to the strictest legislation, the primary challenge for us was to develop and implement a method to secure the extensive and detailed documentation required by the European Union’s Toy Safety Directive. It has been a huge task for our team, which has increased fourfold since 2008, and significant resources have been used on a global scale to ensure that we can document that the more than 2,000 raw materials we use pass the requirements,” says Cornelis Versluis, Vice President for Corporate Quality, who has the overall responsibility for driving the documentation process.
One LEGO brick passes 10 checkpoints
The foundation of the LEGO play experience is derived from the iconic 2x4 brick. To satisfy the Directive’s requirements a single LEGO brick goes through detailed safety documentation: an element risk assessment, a toy safety report and for quality: an element approval and a technical drawing must be present. When you include the checks for raw materials this adds up to 10 checkpoints. In printed form, these reports and supporting documents for a single LEGO brick fill 25 pages.
The LEGO Fire Truck item number 60002 which consists of 206 LEGO elements is a specific example of the extensive documentation required before any LEGO product is released for sale. Before the Fire Truck set was approved it passed more than 1,000 checkpoints in the LEGO Group.
Profound knowledge on a raw material level places the LEGO Group in a strong position when it needs to respond to changes in new legislation, wants to utilize innovative scientific information, or wants to initiate and implement changes of its own, such as substituting a current material with a new safer and more environmental friendly material.
• The LEGO Group uses more than 2,000 raw materials in its production of LEGO elements
• LEGO designers currently have more than 3,200 different elements on hand to create LEGO sets
• Since 2008, more than 20 LEGO employees have spent over 100,000 working hours to document that the LEGO Group complies with the EU Toy Safety Directive
• The European Commission’ site on Toy
• The LEGO Group’s website: Product Safety and Quality
• LEGO Progress Report 2012
Roar Rude Trangbæk, Press officer
Morten Vestberg, Sustainability Communications Manager