Following the warning relating to the provisions covering visibility requirements for earth-moving machinery, issued by the EU Commission, there has been widespread uncertainty among manufacturers and operators. A VDMA position paper is intended to help clarify the situation.
The warning set out in European standard EN 474-1 came into effect on 28 January. Since then, there has been uncertainty as to when an earth-moving machine meets statutory requirements and what measures are required for safe operation and, consequently, operation in compliance with applicable regulations.
From a manufacturers point of view, the warning means that any earth-moving machinery placed on the market after this date will not necessarily have complied with statutory requirements concerning visibility when meeting the requirements set out in EN 474-1. This could lead to considerable problems, especially in the case of legal proceedings, with the manufacturer, in certain cases, having to prove that the cautions they have taken within the framework of the risk assessment were sufficient. Similar considerations apply to machinery operators. The standard committee is currently working on the revision of EN 474-1, although completion and the concomitant lifting of the warning are unlikely to have occurred before late 2016.
Operators and employers are advised to check their risk assessments meticulously for each machine application, and ensure that they are updated when necessary. During the current transitional period, the VDMA emphasises that particular focus should be on organisational and personal protective measures. This can include increased use of additional human guides and the adjustment of construction site organisation. The VDMA position paper also suggests referring to the rules of the Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for the Construction Industry concerning earth-moving machinery (BGR 500, Clause 2.12) and the document published by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health entitled "Bekanntmachung zur Betriebssicherheit 2111" (Information on occupational safety 2111). Operators can also contact the machinery manufacturers to obtain further information.
Adapted from press release by Rebecca Bowden
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/09112015/vdma-suggest-increased-vigilance-for-confusing-standards-938/