News on MEWPs: Full Review of EN280 Starts Soon

Words: Dan Kamys

News on MEWPs: Full Review of EN280 Starts Soon

The design standard that governs the manufacture of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) in Europe is going to be re-written. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has recently gained a mandate for CEN TC98/WG1 to commence a full revision of EN280:2013 once the current amendment A1 has been finalized, which is expected to be at a Working Group 1 (WG1) meeting in October 2014.

EN280 is a machine-specific, harmonized standard detailing design calculations, stability criteria, construction, safety, examinations and test requirements for mobile elevating work platforms. Along with other European standards, EN280 has a special legal status and defines minimum acceptable levels for health and safety by supporting the essential requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The use of the standard is not mandatory for manufacturers wishing to introduce MEWPs into the European Union, however, full compliance with EN280 gives a presumption of conformity to the relevant Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR) of the Machinery Directive.

The 2013 edition of EN280 was published in June 2013 following a review period of five years – the maximum allowed under CEN rules. Following a period for public comment, it is anticipated that EN280:2013 Amendment A1 will be published in 2015 and will detail additional requirements regarding the application of EN13001-3-1 and EN ISO13849-1 to MEWP structures and control systems.

IPAF technical & safety executive Chris Wraith explains why the developments in the European MEWP standard are necessary:

“Increased use of MEWPs throughout the world in almost all sectors of industry, for new and differing applications, means that there are constantly new issues that need addressing in the design standard.

“Possible topics for consideration in the next full revision of EN280 include:

•        Exit at height

•        Retention of key in ground station

•        Average weight of a person

•        Fire prevention

•        Ability to isolate power when elevated, other than emergency stop

•        Wind speed variations

•         Electromagnetic current (EMC)

“Continual technical and physical advances in MEWP design mean it is essential that the industry-specific design standard EN280 reflects ‘state of art’ and provides relevant guidance for manufacturers to ensure safe design of MEWPs, coupled to the technological advances in MEWP design.

“As a major contributor to the original development of this standard and an active member of TC98/WG1, IPAF will continue to consult with all its members in order to play a significant role in the forthcoming revision and to ensure that MEWPs are safe by design,” said Wraith.

IPAF members wishing to provide comments related to the full review of EN280 should contact IPAF technical & safety executive Chris Wraith.

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