ALLMI issues warning about EN12999:2009

By Alex Dahm15 January 2010

The Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers in the UK is moving to raise awareness of potential issues surrounding any delay to implementation of the new EN12999:2009 standard for loader cranes.

ALLMI has circulated a letter to all its members concerning the possible consequences of delayed implementation as a result of an objection to its implementation lodged by the Italian Organization for Standardization UNI in Italy. The appeal is with CEN/CENELEC (European Committee for Standardization/ European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) against the ratification of the latest revision of EN12999. To help further in raising awareness an edited extract from the letter appears below:

A meeting of the CEN working group will be held on 11 February 2010 in Germany to discuss the objections. They will be resolved either by them being rejected or the standard will be changed accordingly. We are not in a position to guess the outcome of the meeting but the introduction and-or harmonisation of the latest revision of EN12999 will face delays as a result.

Previous guidance issued by ALLMI stated that the original entry date onto the Official Journal for this standard was set for late December 2009, to ensure that the latest revision of EN12999 met the requirements of the new Machinery Directive, which subsequently comes into force on 29 December 2009. This will mean that we enter something of a hiatus period in as much as the existing A2 version of the EN12999 will not meet the Essential Health & Safety Requirements (EHSRs) of the new Machinery Directive. Until the new revised standard is available, manufacturers and importers will have to declare conformity directly against the EHSRs of the Machinery Directive.

One area in which it is relatively easy to provide an example of this is with the requirement for the rated capacity limiting system to monitor the position of the stabilisers (Stabiliser Interlocks). The new Machinery Directive requires manufacturers to risk-assess their products for a number of things, one of which, under EHSR 1.1.2.a. includes "Reasonably Foreseeable Misuse". Official guidance to the directive even quotes "Such behaviour can result in a range of misuse situations, such as, for example, using a crane or a MEWP without deploying the stabilisers;....."

It is ALLMI's wish to avoid the spread of any panic and confusion. However, we feel obliged to inform all importers, installers and operators that the delayed introduction of the revised standard does not negate the need to comply with the revised EHSRs of the new Machinery Directive; and that anyone supplying (or buying) a 2010 badged product needs to ensure this is done.

The possible consequences in the UK for anyone not ensuring compliance could be severe should the HSE become involved. Should they visit an operator who has just taken delivery of a 2010 machine and subsequently find it fails to comply, their powers would be such that they could prohibit the use of the machine and prohibit the importer from selling any more which don't comply. Furthermore, the supplier of the machine could face prosecution.

In addition, manufacturers need to be made aware that the HSE would also be legally obliged to enter details of any action onto a European database known as the ICMS system. This would flag the issue with all enforcement bodies in other member states which could result in that particular model or brand being prohibited from sale in Europe."

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