With Health and Safety being one of Loading Systems’ number one priorities and European standards driving safety and compliance in loading bay equipment supply and use, how will leaving the EU impact on these vitally important standards?
Where do the European Standards come from?
European standards are established by interpreting the requirements of EU directives, in accordance with the particular product group or industry to which they apply.
The setting of the standards is completed in conjunction with representatives from trade associations throughout Europe. One of those associations is the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM) whose key mission is to represent and defend the technical, economic and political interests of European manufacturers of materials handling, lifting and storage equipment
For these manufacturers the directives from which the EU standards are derived include the European Machinery Directive – and like all EU directives, this has been transposed into UK regulations to become a set of requirements supported by the law which acts on ‘Presumption of Conformance’ with the requirements. European standards directly related to the loading and unloading of goods include ‘BS EN 1570 Mobile Elevating Work Platforms’ and ‘BS EN 1398 Dock Levellers’.
Loading Systems has a voice in setting these standards through its membership of the Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers (ALEM), which represents companies involved in providing equipment and services for the safe handling of goods. ALEM themselves act as UK representatives and contribute to the setting of these standards through its membership of FEM.
As an ALEM member, Loading Systems is committed to supplying industrial doors, loading bays and lifting platforms that comply with the strict safety requirements laid down in the UK and Europe.
Rob Fay, Loading Systems Managing Director, commented “Working to these strict requirements on a daily basis means that we’re totally familiar with the regulations and able to pass on that expert knowledge ensuring our customers are fully compliant with current Health & Safety legislation.”
So what happens when the UK is outside the EU?
The UK’s own National Standards Body, the BSI, was established in 1901 and now has 76 offices serving clients worldwide. It was the world’s first National Standards Body and has helped to shape many of the world’s management system’s standards – including Health and Safety.
Within Europe the BSI maintains the UK’s membership of the 3 standardisation organisations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. As private organisations outside the EU, CEN and CENELEC’s purpose is to co-ordinate the work of 33 countries so they may adopt European Standards – ensuring there are no conflicting national standards so that market access across the EU may be facilitated.
After the UK has left the EU it is the BSI’s stated intention to maintain its full membership of CEN and CENELEC; continuing its participation in the European standards system to ensure compliance helps to further trade both in the EU and globally and reduces complexity for SMEs and consumers.
As a leading European manufacturer, Loading Systems welcomes this initiative as it safeguards the continuation of the high UK and European Health and Safety standards to which the company subscribes.
Rob said “We’re delighted to learn that the BSI is to continue its work with the European standards organisations. It is important that we maintain consistency and continuity in leading standards across Europe. Loading Systems Health and Safety standards are already some of the highest in the industry and will remain the main focus for us in the delivery of all projects.”