It is now six months since new requirements were placed on structural steel manufacturers and fabricators which make it a criminal offence in the UK and Ireland to supply a steel frame or structural steel components without a CE mark.
With contractors across the UK and Ireland reporting that Trading Standards departments are now looking for evidence of Construction Products Regulation (CPR) compliance, BM TRADA is warning companies to take urgent action.
“Since the requirements contained within the CPR aim to improve the safety and structural performance of steel-framed buildings and structural steel components, contractors who fail to CE mark may not only face prosecution, but may also find themselves barred from operating in the UK, or elsewhere in Europe,” warns Steve Russell, BM TRADA Senior Client Advisor, Building and Product Services.
Since 1 July 2014, it has been mandatory for suppliers, be they manufacturers, contractors or fabricators to place a CE mark on structural steel frames or structural steel components. This requires formal processes to be put in place for both the production and design of structural steel elements and frames.
To apply the CE mark, manufacturers, contractors and fabricators need to demonstrate compliance to BS EN 1090, Part 1 Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures and Part 2 Technical requirements for steel structures. This means that every structural component must meet stringent requirements.
Fabricators and contractors must produce a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for the steel frame or structural component/s as well as be in possession of a Factory Production Control (FPC) Certificate issued by a Notified Body, such as BM TRADA.
Furthermore, if the manufacturer/distributor takes any responsibility for design, then to comply with CE marking and EN 1090, they must have a design protocol in place as part of their documented procedures. This must take into account the product’s end-use as well as its performance.
BS EN 1090-2: Technical requirements for steel structures sets out four Execution Classes (EXCs):EXC1 – e.g. Agricultural buildings; EXC2 – e.g. Residential or Commercial structures; EXC3 – e.g. Bridges; and EXC4 – e.g. Special structures (long-span bridges etc)
For EXC2, 3 and 4, all welding must be controlled by a Responsible Welding Coordinator (RWC), with proven competence in accordance with the requirements of EN 14731 and the relevant part of EN ISO 3834. Manufacturers must supply a certificate that specifically states that the RWC is trained to these standards as proof of compliance.
“We are aware that Trading Standards departments are now looking for companies to demonstrate their compliance with the CPR, those who do not yet meet these requirements must take immediate action or they may find themselves barred from trading,” says Mr Russell.
“The process of obtaining a CE mark may take some time. While many companies will have suitable production systems in place, they may need guidance in how to formalise these to ensure they have in place a suitable factory production control system.
“BM TRADA can offer guidance through the CE marking process in such areas as assessing product ranges and subsequent requirements, to conducting factory production control audits and CE marking FPC certificates’. By working together with clients we ensure that they can meet the requirements of the CPR and apply a CE mark.”
BM TRADA is a notified body and can conduct UKAS accredited FPC certification to assist steel frame manufacturers and fabricators in achieving compliance with the CPR.
For further information or to obtain a copy of BM TRADA’s Technical Information Sheet on CE marking for structural steel to BS EN 1090-1, contact Steve Russell; tel: +44 (0) 1494 569667; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit http://www.bmtrada.com/en-gb
BM TRADA provides independent certification, testing, inspection, training and technical services. We help customers large and small to prove their business and product credentials and to improve performance and compliance. With an international presence across many industry sectors, we offer a special focus and long history of technical excellence in supply chain certification, product certification and testing, and technical services to the timber, building, fire and furniture industries.