Can the important safety instructions identified in Sub-Clause 5.4 be provided in an electronic format (i.e. CD-ROM, floppy disks, embedded software, firmware, etc.)?

Products may be provided with the important safety instructions, identified in Sub-Clause 5.4, in electronic or “soft” format, including embedded software, firmware, floppy disk, or CD-ROM, provided the following conditions are met:

The product should have the appropriate hardware, either integral to the product or as a required accessory, to both access and view the instructions. For example, if instructions are provided on a CD-ROM, the product should have a CD-ROM drive, and require the use of a monitor for normal operation.
Adequate printed instructions should be provided with the product to allow complete initialization of the product, which includes basic set-up of the system and access to the electronic instructions without the introduction of a hazard.

The printed instructions should include information describing existence of the electronic instructions within the basic system software. Alternatively, during the initialization described in item 2, and without user prompting, the electronic instructions may be displayed automatically.

For systems with the instructions contained in embedded software, if the electronic instructions may be lost due to hardware failure or accidental file deletion by the user, the printed instructions should specify the need for the user to back-up the system software (within which the electronic instructions reside) according to procedures normally recommended by the manufacturer.

Compliance with these guidelines will be determined through a review of the system’s initialization procedure and any printed instructions supplied with the equipment. Other options that provide an equivalent level of safety may be considered based on the application.

The important safety instructions shall precede any operating instructions.

In accordance with Sub-Clause 5.4 products are required to be provided with important safety instructions to avoid the introduction of hazards. These instructions traditionally have been provided in a printed manual (paper format) with each individual product.

In order to provide ready access to the important safety instructions and reduce the costs associated with supplying paper-based instructions, manufacturers would like the option of being able to include the important safety instructions as a part of the software packaged with the product. When provided in an electronic format, the important safety instructions will be available for the user’s individual reference as part of the equipment’s base system software, or will be provided in separate storage media, such as a floppy disk or CD-ROM.

To allow the product to be initialized safely and allow the user to access the electronic instructions, a minimum amount of printed instructions generally are necessary. Also, to ensure continued availability of the important safety instructions in case of hardware failure or accidental software deletion, a software back-up procedure needs to be specified by the equipment manufacture.

This is in harmonization with UL 60950.