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EUROPE UPDATES EN-13814 By Enrico Fabbri
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Revision of European standard EN-13814 in alignment with international standard ISO-17842
 
EUROPE UPDATES EN-13814
by Enrico Fabbri
 
 
In 2005, the European technical standard EN-13814 was published, collecting the best experiences of the old DIN-4112 and with the full contribution of ideas from major manufacturers and inspection agencies such as TUV. This safety standard represented a milestone in the history of manufacturers and operators throughout Europe and the world. At last, there was a singular benchmark regulation for the whole of the European continent.

Today, everyone is feeling proud of this great achievement; but it’s good to refresh everyone’s memory of what happened and to pay tribute to the people who dedicated themselves to the project at the time. The secretariat for the development of the European standard was assigned to the UNI (Italian standardization body) with Michele Bertazzon as chairman of the project work group. Italy had therefore been entrusted with the burden of finding the necessary economic resources through ANCASVI (National Association of amusement ride manufacturers) and ANESV (National Association of travelling showmen) in the first place. But the real mind behind the achievement of those objectives was Gianni Chiari who, for over 25 years has been addressing every challenge and developing strategies for both the European and the international standards with the utmost professionalism.

Although until 2005 all the representatives of the major European countries had collaborated towards the development of the standard, Germany, France and the United Kingdom sided against it during the official voting phase. It was thence only thanks to the new nations that had recently joined the European Union that a qualified majority could be reached. For the record, we know that France voted against the regulation due to the furious reaction of French operators who felt that they were being called into question.

On the other hand, it has never been that clear why both United Kingdom and Germany opted for the ‘no’ vote, perhaps it can be interpreted as an extreme attempt at protectionism, which today feels very anachronistic.

The truth, now evident to everyone, is that this first EN-13814 standard, published in 2005, has created an important watershed moment in the history of the sector. It allowed manufacturers to have a single standard of reference which saved a lot of expenses to them and to their customers, and facilitated the use of attractions in other European countries. These results were the crowning achievement of all the work carried out by the ANCASVI and its founders who, over 30 years ago, first saw the problem and identified the solution.

In the year 2015, the ISO-17842 standard was approved by the international standardization body, which improved on the strong foundations of the EN-13814 standard, with the addendum of 2 important chapters related to the use and maintenance of attractions and that relating to inspections. Finally a few days ago, in April 2018, the new EN-13814 was once again revised and brought into alignment with the existing ISO-17842, adding 2 other important chapters.

The first improvement concerns the activities of the first and the annual inspections of the rides. It is made clear that a first inspection is to be carried out by independent engineers, who must review the manufacturer’s design to ensure that it is in line with the minimum requirements of the standard. These independent engineers must possess different skills ranging from calculations, to production quality procedures, up until the electrical aspects. It is also made clear that these technicians have to comply with an international ISO-17020 standard regarding their internal organization and there should be no conflict of interests. Furthermore, it is established that the attractions must be inspected annually to verify the state of use and their updated compliance with the most recent regulations. These annual inspections must always be carried out by technicians in compliance with the previously mentioned ISO-17020.

The second main difference is related to the activities of use and maintenance of the attractions. The importance of adequately training on site personnel and providing all necessary information to the public is thoroughly stressed. The difference between repair and modification of an attraction is clearly identified. Furthermore, the importance of evacuation systems in the event of an emergency is fully explained.

I can’t fail to notice how many countries around the world are more and more frequently adopting the EN-13814 standard as a reference point for amusement ride safety. Therefore, I believe that the new draft will only improve all aspects relating to the construction, use, maintenance and inspection of amusement rides, guaranteeing a higher level of safety for everyone, most importantly, the users.
 
 

 
Written by Mr. Enrico Fabbri enrico@fabbrirides.com
Article originally published in Games Industry (Italy) magazine
Original date: May 2018
#33
 


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