Revising EN 280:2001

07 May 2008

The revision to EN 280:2001 is advancing steadily, with most of the proposed new requirements finally being approved by the technical committee TC 98. It is hoped that the draft standard will be available for public comment by the middle of this year. This will be followed by a six month consultation period, with a further three months to collate all of the comments. Further meetings will then take place prior to the publication of the New Machinery Directive.

Areas of the standard that will change are new requirements for load sensing on scissor extension decks, involuntary operation of controls and trapping of operators, electronic guarding of larger scissor mechanisms and manual levelling of work platforms.

Load sensing on extension decks will be addressed in the revised standard by specific requirements for dynamic testing. This will involve, for example, having the mass of all of the permissible occupants on the extended deck during kerb tests.

The issue of involuntary operation of controls by the operator in the work platform has also been subject to much discussion lately. In the first instance, the manufacturer must be able to demonstrate that this occurrence cannot arise, usually by undertaking a risk assessment.

The currently accepted method of electronically guarding scissor mechanism on small machines will be extended to scissor lifts of all sizes, removing the requirement for physical scissor guards.

Manual levelling (i.e. adjustment of trim) of the work platform will still be permitted, however manufacturers will need to ensure that no other platform movements can be operated simultaneously with the levelling function.

In addition, the impact of the revisions to the EHSRs within the new Machinery Directive will also need to be considered within the standard before presumption of conformity can be made to 2006/42/EC.

EN 280:2001 may be the main standard for mobile access equipment, but there also exist several other related standards, which must be considered during the design and introduction of such products.

Functional safety of access equipment is a particularly hot topic at the moment with manufacturers now being faced with EN 13849 parts 1 & 2 – Safety related parts of control systems. Technical files for those products which fall within the criteria of these standards must now contain documentation on performance and safety integrity levels, reliability data and validation reports. Compilation of this data can be overwhelming to a manufacturer who is not familiar with the requirements of the standards.

As with all technological progress, the requirements of European Directives and Standards never remain static for very long. Generally speaking, your notified body will be able to advise on how best to approach the issues of new standards and requirements and on creating the necessary documentation. PAC will be presenting further updated information on these and other certification matters at the conference sessions during the APEX show in Maastricht in September 2008.

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