CE marking of structural steel – an update for engineers

Since 1 July 2014, CE Marking of structural steelwork has become mandatory for fabricated structural steelwork in accordance with EN 1090-1. It is essential that all parties to the steel construction supply-chain learn and understand the new requirements in order to ensure compliance.

Non-compliance is clearly catered for within the Regulations, with fines up to €500,000 and/or imprisonment. However, the implications for the end user are also significant and not so obvious. If a building is handed over to the client and it is determined that the steelwork has not been fabricated in accordance with the harmonised standard and engineers specification, then it cannot be put into service until the steelwork has been replaced.

In this case, any claims or penalties imposed on the owner or builder by the Health & Safety Authority would not be covered by insurance and the steelwork contractor (along with whoever else had a role in building the structure) could be found negligent.

Alternatively, if a building collapsed (in the winter of 2010-11, more than 5,000 buildings collapsed after a heavy snowfall in the UK) and someone was injured, and a claim was subsequently made for these injuries, the owners’ insurance company could be liable for the losses under the third-party liability section of their insurance which covers the owners legal liability as property owner.

The insurances of any other contractors involved in the build are also likely to be called on.

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) came into force on 1 July 2013 and has direct legal application across the entire European Union since then, but each Member State is responsible for regulating for its own market surveillance activities in accordance with the specific requirements of the CPR.