Business Companion have published an in-depth guide for England, Scotland & Wales, highlighting essential information for suppliers of electrical equipment, including CE marking.
To ensure that you’re working in the safest environment electrical equipment is required to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
This means that if the equipment complies with a harmonised European standard, it’s automatically taken to be safe.
However, be aware that there’s specific requirements for both the manufacturer of the product.
General Safety Requirement
When handling electrical equipment it’s important to be safe in addition to being constructed in accordance with principles constituting good engineering practice. This includes protecting against electric shock.
In order to stay safe, the equipment must comply with the safety objectives contained in Schedule 3 to the Regulations, including:
- Be marked with the manufacturer’s brand name or trade mark (this can be found on the packaging).
- Be designed so that the equipment can be safely and properly assembled and connected.
- Have instructions and information for the equipment to be used safely.
- Operate at a safe temperature with no dangerous arcing or radiation.
Satisfying General Safety Requirement
Did you know certain notified bodies are permitted to test and report on electrical equipment and to state whether or not it’s safe?
This means that if the electrical equipment complies with a harmonised European standard it’s automatically taken to be safe unless there’s no relevant harmonised European standard, then compliance with international standards will be sufficient.
However, if there are no relevant international standards at all then compliance with a national standard will be sufficient only if the standard includes everything in the general safety requirement
If you have any questions make sure to contact your local trading standards service for a list of these bodies.
Labelling & Records
It’s crucial manufacturers or their authorised representatives within the European Economic Area (EEA) has an Affix a CE mark. This is a declaration that the equipment complies with the Regulations and must be present on the equipment, the packaging, instruction sheet or guarantee certificate. Therefore the draw up of an ‘EC declaration of conformity’ which should contain;
- The name and address of the manufacturer/authorised representative.
- Electrical equipment description.
- A reference to the harmonised standards or other specifications used to assess the compliance.
- Identification of who will enter into commitments on behalf of the manufacturer/authorised representative.
- the last two digits of the year in which the CE mark was affixed
Manufacturers or their authorised representatives within the EEA should also compile and hold technical documentation. This has to be kept for at least 10 years after manufacture of that model of equipment has ceased and should contain;
- Electrical equipment general description.
- Conceptual design, manufacturing drawings, details of components, etc along with information to help interpretation of these.
- Results and reports of tests, examinations, calculations, etc.A list of the standards or a description of what has been done to ensure compliance with the general safety requirement.
Who Keeps Documentation?
It’s crucial you’re aware that BOTH The Declaration of Conformity and The Technical Documentation is kept safe and available upon request for inspection by enforcement bodies if you’re:
- The manufacturer, if they are in the EEA
- Their authorised representative, if they are outside the EEA
- If neither of the above, the importer into the EEA
Manufacturers must make sure their manufacturing process always produces electrical equipment that conforms to the technical documentation. This basically means that they should have satisfactory quality assurance systems.
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
- Radio Equipment & Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000
- Medical Devices Regulations 2002
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2005
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011