A renewal of the EN 1090 certificate for execution class 2. That is the reward our Construct Masters division received after a thorough external audit. But what is the importance of the EN 1090 standard for a steel and construction company? We put it in a nutshell for you.
What is the EN 1090 standard?
In very simple terms, European Norm (hence ‘EN’) 1090 is a kind of quality label for aluminium and/or steel constructions or construction parts. The EN 1090 standard is sometimes compared to a classic ISO quality system. This is true to a certain extent, but EN 1090 is very specifically aimed at welding and construction work. Anyone supplying products in accordance with the EN 1090 standard is entitled to have them CE marked.
What is a CE marking?
CE is the abbreviation of ‘Conformité Européenne‘, freely translated: in accordance with European regulations. If a producer affixes a CE marking to his product, he declares that the product has been assessed and fully complies with the European requirements on health, safety and protection of the environment. Therefore, the CE mark is also a kind of quality label.
In the case of an aluminium or steel construction, it is not only the end product that must carry the CE marking. All parts of it must also comply with it.
Does the EN 1090 standard apply to me?
Of course this European standard applies to anyone involved in the production of steel or aluminium structures. But it goes much wider. Everyone who has to do with these constructions must pay attention to it. Think of contractors, suppliers, clients, designers and so on.
Depending on the type of end product, EN 1090 distinguishes between four so-called execution classes.
To which execution class do I belong?
The classification into execution classes (or in short: EXC) is based on the application of the end product. 3 criteria are important here:
- Consequences of the collapse of the construction, ranging from ‘minor’ (e.g. empty shed) to ‘major’ (e.g. grandstand, concert hall).
- Type of load on the structure: e.g. static load (building), fatigue load (railway bridge).
- Materials used (e.g. type and quality of steel).
Based on these criteria, 4 execution classes have been defined:
- Sheds in the agricultural sector, stairs and railings in houses,…: EXC 1.
- Stairs, landings, supports and railings in an industrial environment,…: EXC 2.
- Large roof constructions, constructions in public places,…: EXC 3.
- Constructions in a densely populated area, industrial constructions with a high potential danger such as a nuclear power plant: EXC 4.
If you are certified for a certain execution class, you may also carry out work in all lower classes. Construct Masters is certified for execution class 2, but may also perform work in execution class 1.
What does the EN 1090 standard mean?
The EN 1090 regulations stipulate the conditions that constructions or construction components must meet. The standard imposes many obligations on infrastructure, personnel and materials. Just think of the calibration of the machines, measuring equipment and welding posts, monitoring of the purchase, obtaining welding certificates, the presence of a RWC (responsible welding coordinator) and so on.
How can I obtain the EN 1090 certificate?
To obtain EN 1090 certification, you must have your company audited by an external party. In order, like Construct Masters, to meet EXC 2, your welders and welding equipment must be frequently inspected, you must use the correct welding methods, you must set up an FPC (Factory Production Control) and so on.
Obtaining the EN 1090 standard is therefore not a matter of course. But it is an absolute necessity if you want to make a difference in steel construction.
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