The road to CE marking

7th July 2016

The road to CE marking

by Andrew Keen, Managing Director

Most people in Europe will be familiar with the CE mark – it appears on everything from toys to appliances to demonstrate that the product meets recognised European public safety standards.

CE marking for construction products in Europe is no new thing.  Back in 1989 the use of CE marking was included in the Construction Products Directive (which has since been superseded by the Construction Products Regulation 2011). 

The purpose of CE marking for construction products is the same as for any other CE mark.  It is to demonstrate that the product is safe for its intended purpose, and that the manufacturing methods can be trusted. 

In order to bear a CE mark, a construction product has to conform to a European Harmonised Standard, or European Technical Approval.  Where none exists, the product cannot be CE marked, as there is no benchmark for it to meet.

Thus, when the Construction Products Regulation came into force on 1st July 2013, there was an easy yet uncomfortable answer for Permaban – we don’t need to CE mark our joints.

Easy, because there was no standard the product could conform to.

Uncomfortable, because we felt there ought to be.

Our products play a vital part in the structural integrity and longevity of a large-scale concrete floor.  As well as a health and safety issue, there is a significant serviceability issue too. 

Although lives are unlikely to be lost due to the failure of an armoured joint, back injuries can occur through jolting when forklift drivers cross a damaged joint.  The operating performance of the floor will also be rapidly undermined. 

A structural floor failure is also a safety risk – and this is where our products play an important role, through load transfer from one section of the floor slab to another, using dowels. 

So although there is no standard for joints, there is clearly a need.  This isn’t just Permaban’s opinion.  Customers in some European countries were calling for us to test to local standards, to prove performance and safety, before our joints could be sold.

Responding to this customer requirement revealed a Harmonised European Standard (EN1090) that would validate the load-bearing integrity of the joints.  (The testing we undertook gave textbook results which we will explain in a future article.)

Having discovered this potential route to CE marking, we were duty bound to investigate it, as a matter of legal compliance.  Several months of work ensued, which has now led us to the point when we can CE mark our products appropriately.

This is a major step forward for standards in the industrial flooring industry, and Permaban is proud to be the first to achieve it.  But more still needs to be done by the industry as a whole to create European standards for our products.  Customers are calling for it; it will prevent potentially unsafe products reaching the market; and most importantly it gives assurance of quality and safety for building owners. 

To find out more about Permaban’s CE marking, please download our FAQs document or speak to our sales team.

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