When it comes to vehicle lifts we have always made sure we supply products that are extremely reliable, with full traceability for spare parts, and most importantly have all the correct legislative and health and safety credentials. We know there are strict standards that must be met if a vehicle lift is to be marketed and installed in the EU so we are often amazed at how often we come across lifts that do not seem to meet the standards yet the marketers of these products claim they are CE approved. Often we have wondered just how they managed to meet the Machinery Directive, let alone EN1493 the EU Harmonised Standard for Vehicle Lifts.
Well now something is being done about it. A realisation that some lifts on the market may not meet the standards that the 'manufacturers' claim they do, and a growing concern for the safety of users of vehicle lifts has driven an investigation into the problem. Let's face it, if you are going to work under a vehicle raised on a lift, you want to be sure it is going to be safe.
The organisation that has the authority to police CE marking is PROSAFE (Product Safety Forum of Europe) who are a non-profit organisation set-up by Market Surveillance Authorities and Officers from throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). Its primary objective is to improve the safety of users of products and services in Europe. PROSAFE conduct Joint Market Surveillance Actions (JMSAs), which are projects where a number of European Member States work together to test the validity of CE marking on various products, with these actions being funded by the European Commission.
2-Post and Scissor Lifts:
It was announced in 2016 that PROSAFE intended to conduct market surveillance on 2 post and scissor type vehicle lifts with the action starting late 2016 and running through 2017.
On 27.9.17 the European Garage Equipment Association (EGEA) and UK Garage Equipment Association (GEA) were asked to attend the second Stake Holders Meeting. During which they were informed that the full report into their findings will be made available early 2018. However, PROSAFE have completed the product testing and are already taking action and working with equipment distributors and manufacturers.
The Joint Market Surveillance Action on 2 post and scissor type vehicle lifts was supported by the following EEA members:
Ireland, UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta, Sweden, Denmark and Latvia.
They tested 25 2 post and 22 Scissor type lifts (47 in total) to see if they met the Machinery Directive and EN1493, the Harmonised Standard for Vehicle Lifts. Initial paperwork inspections were conducted using the services of 2 technical experts, after which 4 lifts were physically inspected in Denmark, these were loaned to PROSAFE. The project then purchased 6 lifts, which were tested at the Health and Safety Laboratory at Buxton.
Although the official report has not been issued some information has been shared which indicates a significant number of non-conformities were found, some minor, and some major.
It is now the responsibility of each participating Member State to take action. This will involve Surveillance Officers contacting the seller of the non-compliant equipment with the view of bringing the products into conformity, removing them from the market or recalling them. The EU has a system in place to alert the market to dangerous products which is known as RAPEX. RAPEX is a website that allows people to search for dangerous products and see a report on the problem. Lifts that have not been correctly CE marked have already been placed on RAPEX and more will follow as and when Member States finalise their investigations.
You can view the current list of vehicle lifts listed on the RAPEX website by clicking here and tying the word 'lift' into the search field.