KAN Report 26
|Standardization Relating to the Pressure Equipment Directive, 04/2002, M. Braun/T. Schulz (2 MB)|
Bookmarks in the pdf file link directly to the individual chapters.
The legislative basis of the European product standardization relating to pressure equipment is Directive 97/23/EC, which is based on Article 95 of the EC Treaty (formerly Article 100a). It has been possible to apply this directive since 29 No-vember 1999. When the transition period ends on 29 May 2002, the directive will come into full force.
On the basis of the programme proposed by CEN, the EU Commission issued a mandate (M/071) in August 1994, consisting of four individual standardization tasks for approximately 800 subjects (standards or parts of standards) . Conse-quently, the mandated standardization work began whilst Directive 97/23/EC was still being debated. The legal certainty necessary for the standardization was, however, not established until Directive 97/23/EC was adopted on 29 May 1997.
Structure of Standardization Relating to Directive 97/23/EC
At the European level, a total of 19 Technical Committees in CEN and 9 Technical Committees in ECISS (European Committee for Iron and Steel Standardization) are involved in standardization relating to Directive 97/23/EC.
The standards relating to this directive are structured as follows: · harmonized product standards:
- describing all aspects of a product (product type) (approx. 100 standards),
- harmonized supporting standards: describing certain working or test methods (approx. 200 standards) and
- harmonized supporting material standards: describing the parameters and properties of materials for pressure equipment (approx. 250 standards).
Harmonized supporting standards alone cannot lead to presumption of conformity. To be able to do so they must be applied in combination with harmonized product standards or Annex I of the Pressure Equipment Directive.
In addition, supporting basic or generic standards are to be drawn up for the non-harmonized area in order, for example, to describe how material tests are carried out (approx. 250 standards). Different safety strategies in the European states and changes to the proposals for the Pressure Equipment Directive during the preparation of the standards considerably delayed the standardization process in some cases.
There is currently an urgent need to complete the standards. This is because the EU Commission believes that the presence of harmonized standards at the end of the transition period will play a role in ensuring successful implementation of the Pressure Equipment Directive. The Commission's strategic objective is thus that the series of basic harmonized standards should be finished by 29 May 2002 at the latest. This places a great deal of pressure on the work presently underway at CEN. Only around 50 standards had been listed in the Official Journal of the European Community upon completion of this study (18 July 2001).
Standardization relating to the Pressure Equipment Directive was analyzed using the following sources:
- standards, draft standards, working documents, documents produced by the CEN and ECISS standards bodies involved and the CEN Technical Board (CEN/BT), reports by the CEN consultant, Commission documents,
- Internet research (the European Commission's and CEN's websites),
- survey amongst the DIN secretaries with regard to the current status of standardization relating to pressure equipment,
- survey amongst the DIN secretaries and experts (manufacturers and manufacturers' associations, technical inspection organizations and registered bodies, operators' testing bodies, accident insurance institutions, operators, authorities) using questionnaires and
- interviews on specific topics with selected experts who play a significant role in standardization.
The following procedure was chosen for the survey amongst groups involved (DIN standards committees, manufacturers, operators, authorities, accident insurance institutions, committees of the HVBG (Federation of the Statutory Accident Insurance Institutions of the Industrial Sector), associations, test bodies and technical inspection organizations):
- Questionnaire-based survey amongst two groups:
- experts who were asked to assess all aspects of standardization and
- experts who were asked to provide statements or assessments concerning specific fields or standards/series of standards.
- Interviews on specific technical topics with selected experts who play a significant role in standardization
Result of the Survey
Germany has not initiated any standardization regarding health and safety of workers at the workplace as part of the standardization relating to the Pressure Equipment Directive. However, some standards do contain provisions concerning health and safety of workers at the workplace.
Extensive parts of the German regulations concerning product requirements have been taken up in the European standards. In some cases, there are gaps compared to the present national regulations. Special standards, e.g. for expansion tanks, and certain standards for plants and plant components sometimes differ from the safety strategy in basic standard prEN 13445 "Unfired pressure vessels".
In the experts' opinion, the following tasks must have priority in future standardization:
- Completion of the necessary harmonized standards, especially for pressure vessels (prEN 13445 "Unfired pressure vessels"), piping (prEN 13480 "Metallic industrial piping") and steam boilers (prEN 12952 " Water-tube boilers and auxiliary installations"; prEN 12953 "Shell boilers").
- Once sufficient experience has been accumulated with the application of these standards, they should be revised since problems are already evident now but cannot be eliminated due to the lack of time and practical experience. Furthermore, individual parts of standards must be better co-ordinated in future in order to guarantee a coherent overall strategy and practicability and thus to ensure that the standards are accepted.
- The scope of the above-mentioned series of standards should be increased in the interim to include issues where there are gaps in the present versions of the standards compared to the national regulations.
The experts were unanimous in the opinion that new standards projects were not necessary in the majority of the CEN/TCs and ECISS/TCs analyzed. The exception to this was the area of piping, where all those questioned considered a new standard for plastic piping necessary. Since the series of standards only covers metallic piping, a new standard will be required in order to ensure a systematic approach.
KAN's Recommendations Based on the Report on "Standardization Related to the Pressure Equipment Directive"
Standardization related to Directive 97/23/EC is of considerable importance, especially since the transition period is due to lapse on 29 May 2002 and because of the economic significance of the pressure-equipment sector for the common market. This importance is made clear by the fact, for example, that approximately every tenth subject presently dealt with by CEN is directly or indirectly linked to Directive 97/23/EC.
The present report outlines the current status of the standardization in this field. The standards are still being developed: of the approximately 800 mandated standards, around 460 European standards had been ratified and of those approximately 50 had been harmonized upon completion of this study (18 July 2001). This must thus be borne in mind in any conclusive assessment of the first versions of harmonized standards for pressure equipment, which will be available shortly. Only when experience has been accumulated with the application of the standards and they are revised, as will then be required, will it be possible to assess conclusively their practicability with regard to safety-relevant aspects. Having said that, there is already an evident need for action in some areas.
Action to be Taken by DIN
- Once the report has been published, DIN is requested to forward it to the German mirror committees so that the results are available to them when ed-iting/revising the standards/draft standards.
- DIN is requested to remind its standards committees (FNCA, NARD, NAA, NDG; FNKä, FNFW, NAEBM, FNK, NA Tank and NA Gas) that those regulations governing health and safety of workers at the workplace which concern
- safety-relevant information on assembly, commissioning, operation and maintenance, including inspection by the user,
- residual-risk information provided by the manufacturer on the basis of the risk analysis or
- information provided by the manufacturer regarding risks caused by improper use
should only be listed in the requirements for the drafting of instruction handbooks in accordance with Annex I, Section 3.4 of Directive 97/23/EC. As specified by the German Consensus Statement, other aspects of health and safety of workers at the workplace are not matters for standardization.
- The DIN is requested to take action at the European level to ensure that the following standards/draft standards are revised or that the standards are rejected at the European level where appropriate, because they contain provisions concerning health and safety of workers at the workplace which are reserved to national legislation:
- prEN 13458-3 "Cryogenic vessels - Static vacuum-insulated vessels - Part 3: Operational requirements (CEN/TC 268)" requires, for example, inspections before commissioning and periodic inspections, some of which are to involve a "registered body".
- WI 00268029 "Cryogenic vessels - Static non-vacuum-insulated vessels - Part 3: Operational requirements" requires, for example, inspections before commissioning and periodic inspections, some of which are to involve a "registered body".
- DIN EN 378-3 "Refrigerating systems and heat pumps - Safety and envi-ronmental requirements - Part 3: Installation site and personal protection" applies to refrigeration units of and above certain minimum volumes (2.5 kg to 10 kg depending on the type of cooling agent) and contains extensive technical and organizational requirements which must continue to be reserved to the field of health and safety of workers at the workplace.
- DIN EN 378-4 "Refrigerating systems and heat pumps - Safety and envi-ronmental requirements - Part 4: Operation, maintenance, repair and recovery" contains extensive technical and organizational requirements which must continue to be reserved to the field of health and safety of workers at the workplace.
- prEN 13313 "Refrigerating systems and heat pumps - Competence of per-sonnel" includes provisions concerning the training and certification of the personnel responsible for health and safety of workers at the workplace (e.g. for installation, inspection, testing, commissioning, maintenance and repair). The standard also contains provisions concerning testing respon-sibilities within companies (e.g. for pressure vessels, piping or steam boilers).
- DIN is requested in future standardization (e.g. in CEN business plans) to give priority to ensuring that
- the necessary harmonized standards, especially for pressure vessels (prEN 13445 "Unfired pressure vessels"), piping (prEN 13480 "Metallic industrial piping") and steam boilers (prEN 12952 "Water-tube boilers and auxiliary installations"; prEN 12953 "Shell boilers"), are completed;
- a premature revision process is commenced when sufficient experience has been accumulated with the application of these standards. Problems are already evident now but cannot be tackled due to the lack of time and practical experience. Furthermore, individual parts of standards must be better co-ordinated in future in order to guarantee a coherent overall strategy and practicability and thus to ensure that the standards are accepted;
- the scope of the above-mentioned series of standards should be increased in the interim to include issues where there are gaps in the present versions of the standards compared to the national regulations.
Action to be Taken by the KAN Secretariat
- The KAN Secretariat is requested to give priority to ensuring that the content of the German Consensus Statement is taken into consideration in the Euro-pean draft standards presently being dealt with (CEN survey) for pressure vessels, piping and steam boilers.
- The KAN Secretariat is requested to examine in detail, in a second step, if the standards which are currently in the formal approval process and those which have already been adopted in the above-mentioned areas contain provisions concerning health and safety of workers at the workplace.
Action to be Taken by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
- The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMA) is requested to take action to ensure that the reference to DIN EN 378-3 and DIN EN 378-4 be removed from the Official Journal of the European Communities should the current revision of the two parts still retain extensive provisions concerning health and safety of workers at the workplace which do not supplement the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Directive.
Action to be Taken by the State, the Social Partners and the Accident Insurance Institutions
- The state, the social partners and the accident insurance institutions are requested to play an active role in European standardization so that the German Consensus Statement can be represented in the European standardization bodies.
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