FALL PROTECTION ANCHORAGES IN EUROPE:THE NEW EN 17235 STANDARD
The national and international regulatory landscape in the context of anchoring devices is not linearly structured thus leaving tod wide spaces of interpretation. The anchoring systems and their installation are regulated by various institutions and documents including national laws, European directives and regulations, regional regulations, technical standards, guidelines, etc.
Among the technical regulations we find the EN 795: 2012 and the UNI 11578: 2015: the first regulates the anchoring devices intended to be removed from the structure and is partially harmonized; the second instead is a norm for permanently installed devices and is valid only in Italy.
Although there is a system of complex standards, permanent anchor devices are not covered by a harmonized technical standard with the consequence that the products do not have the obligation of CE markingE and their free movement in Europe is limited.
To address this regulatory gap, the European Commission, with the M122 mandate, requested the creation of a new proposed standard prEN 172355) which appears to be in its final stages. If the standardization process should take its course, the standard will be submitted to a vote by the European Nations.
If successful, the standard will then be evaluated for its harmonization with the consequent obligation of CE marking.
The currente time schedule implies that the proposed rule will be concluded by December 2019, the formal vote by June 2020 and the rule should be published between the end of 2020 and the first months of 2021.
The publication of EN 17235 is in any case subject to the positive outcome of the previous phases and may occuri three possible final scenarios:
- Published and Harmonized Standard
- Published and non-harmonized standard
- Standard not published with probable start of a new standardization process.
We will keep you updated on subsequent developments which, to date, cannot be predicted with certainty.