CE Certification is the process of demonstration that equipment, ranging from toys to sophisticated robots, meets what is known as the essential health and safety requirements as laid down in the particular Directive.
Directives per sae are not the law until such times as they are implemented into National Laws of each individual Member State of the European Union.
It is compulsory for each Member State to implement these laws within a prescribed amount of time and such implemented laws must meet the essential health and safety requirements.
In some cases, Member States exceed minimum requirements where they feel that their own National Standards are more appropriate. Where this is the case, it applies to both nationally and manufactured products and imports.
There are five principle areas that we look at in this site, namely;
- Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
- Low Voltage Directive
- EMC Directive
- Construction Products Directive
- Products Liability Directive
The Directive on Electromagnetic Compatibility is a highly specialised area, therefore we shall discuss the basic requirements here, but offer guidance towards local experts in the field
It is a breach of European Community Law to attach higher standards to imports against home produced products.
Where a piece of machinery has the CE mark attached and is accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity, there is a presumption of compliance with the law. This is an important piece of information for the forensic engineer and the employers forced with a claim for personal injuries by employees, caused by defective machinery. If the employer or forensic engineer can establish that the equipment was the result of a defect in the machine and that the essential health and safety requirements were not in fact met, then they have the opportunity to cite the manufacturer of the equipment joined as named defendants.
An example of this could be where an employer purchases a piece of equipment, for example a press, and this equipment has the CE mark attached and is accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity, then the employer can assume it complies with the essential health and safety requirements.
The press requires that the operator place a raw component into the danger zone of the press, then operate a foot pedal that closes the guard doors of the press and cycles the press to form the new component, all the moving components being inside the enclosure.
At some time during the machine’s lifecycle, the operator decides to short circuit the safety system by easily defeating the guard doors. The machine can now operate with the guard doors open and the operator receives crushing injuries to his/her hands.
The employer may still be liable if he was aware of the bad practice and the employee is most certainly contributory to his injuries, however, the manufacturer’s may also be liable since it is their duty to ensure that the machine is designed to operate safely throughout it’s lifecycle even under unforeseen abnormal circumstances and that safety interlocks should not be easily bypassed.
JGMA have a vast amount of experience in the CE certification process, including risk assessment, construction of Technical Files, Harmonised Standards and correlating machinery between the various Directives.