Under the CPR it is now mandatory for all structural steel fabrications delivered to site within the European union to carry the CE mark. CE Marking for constituent structural steel products covered by a harmonised European standard or conforming to a European Technical Assessment, became mandatory in 2013. This represented a major development for engineers, contractors and steelwork specialists and it demands careful attention to the new laws imposed.
You will already recognise the CE mark as its been widely used on toys and electrical goods within the European union for some years. CE marking demonstrates compliance with the appropriate manufacturing standard for a product giving peace of mind that the quality, and more importantly, safety of a product is guaranteed. It provides proof that the product meets working and safety requirements and is essentially ‘fit for purpose’.
The BCSA has also made CE Marking compliance a condition of membership of the Association after 1 July 2014.
What is BS EN 1090?
The harmonised standard covering fabricated structural steelwork is BS EN 1090: Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures.
Part 1 of the standard is the Requirements for Conformity Assessment of Structural Components. It describes how manufacturers can demonstrate that the components they produce meet the declared performance characteristics (the structural characteristics which make them fit for their particular use and function).
Part 2 is the Technical Requirements for Steel Structures. It specifies the requirements for the execution of steel structures to ensure adequate levels of mechanical resistance and stability, serviceability and durability. It determines the performance characteristics for components that the manufacturer must achieve and declare through the requirements of Part 1.
What do steelwork contractors need to achieve to be compliant?
In order to be able to CE Mark the fabricated structural steelwork that they produce, steelwork contractors are required to declare performance to the System 2+ level of assessment. This requires:
- Initial type-testing of the product
- Factory Production Control (FPC), which will include implementation of FPC system procedures, appointment of a responsible welding coordinator (RWC) and implementation of welding quality management system (WQMS) procedures
- Further testing of samples taken at the factory in accordance with the prescribed test plan.
They must also be assessed by a notified body that will carry out:
- Initial inspection of the manufacturing plant
- Initial inspection of the FPC
- Continuous surveillance, assessment and approval of the FPC, which will typically include an annual audit to ensure continued competence to the declared Execution Class (Table B.3 of BS EN 1090-1 sets out minimum levels for the routine surveillance intervals) The notified body will then issue a FPC certificate and Welding
- Certificate identifying the Execution Class that the steelwork contractor has achieved.
In order to achieve this, the client or main contractor should appoint a steelwork contractor with an Execution Class equal to that required for the project, as determined by BS EN 1090-1. It should be noted that steelwork contractors with EXC3 capability can be used for EXC1, 2, & 3; and a steelwork contractor with EXC2 capability can be used for EXC1 & 2. At present JWCI Process engineers hold class EXC2 meaning we can undertake any EXC1 and EXC2 projects.
As you can see compliance with the requirements of BS EN 1090-1 is no mean feat and places obligations on the steelwork contractor that take significant time to achieve and then maintain. To eliminate the risk of non-compliance with the CPR, it is essential that you only award projects that will have fabricated structural steelwork to steelwork contractors who have achieved CE Marking accreditation, as the team at JWCI have achieved.
How can CE accreditation be proved?
In order for a steelwork contractor to demonstrate their right to CE Mark their products, they must provide the following three documents:
- Factory Production Control (FPC) Certificate – issued by a notified body
- Welding Certificate – issued by a notified body
- Declaration of Performance (DoP) – issued by the steelwork contractor
The client or main contractor engaging the steelwork contractor should carry out due diligence before appointing any contractor who will be delivering fabricated structural steelwork.
Making sure you are compliant with the regulations
To ensure you comply with the mandatory regulations only choose a steelwork contractor with an execution class equal to that required for your project. Here at JWCI we have achieved EN 1090-1:2009+A1:2011 under system 2+ meaning we can cater for many structural steelwork projects throughout the UK and Europe.
If you are unsure or need any further advice on whether JWCI are the right CE certified contractor for your next project please do get in touch.
Please contact the team at JWCI Process Engineers on 01889 507177 or discover more about the team and our services by visiting out website www.jwciltd.com.