By Soni Sheimar, General Manager, Easi-Dec
When talking to customers about our access platform range we are often asked about EN13374 compliance. Some companies state that their products comply with this standard which is the European Standard for Temporary Edge Protection, but don’t specify what Class of protection it offers, which causes confusion and can pose a serious safety risk.
What is Edge Protection?
It’s a legal requirement that anyone working on a roof must be protected from falling from an exposed edge. Currently there are a variety of edge protection solutions available ranging from traditional ‘tube and fitting’ scaffold components with nets, fencing meshes and tensioned wires though to purpose built access platforms such as our Easi-Dec Roofline System.
Whichever product is selected, you must be able to demonstrate that it is ‘fit for purpose.’ This may be by providing design calculations, evidence of testing, or manufactures supporting information – and the best way to ensure the system is ‘fit for purpose’ is to make sure it conforms to EN13374.
An Overview of EN 13374
EN13374 has three Classes, each based on the gradient of the surface you’ll be working on and its load resistance.
Class A: Offers protection for flat surfaces and slopes up to 10°. Products in this Class provide resistance to static loads and are based on the requirement to support a person who is leaning against, walking beside or falling against the edge protection.
Class B: Designed to provide protection to flat surfaces and slopes up to 30° or steeper, if they have a short slope length. Products in this Class provide resistance to both static and low dynamic loads and will support a person leaning against, walking besides, falling against and sliding down a sloping surface towards the edge protection.
Class C: Provides protection to steeply sloping surfaces up to 45° and up to 60° on 5m slopes. Products such as our Easi-Dec range of access platforms come under this Class as they provide resistance to high dynamic loads only, based on the requirements to contain a person sliding down a steeply sloping surface.
Make Sure Your Platform Complies
When using a platform to access a pitched roof it’s a legal requirement that you have sufficient edge and fall protection. The type of system you will require is based on the gradient of the surface you’ll be working on and its load resistance, so make sure the system you propose to use complies with the correct Class. If a system merely states it complies with EN 13374, ask which Class and if you’re unsure or have any questions about the correct procedure for working at height then call us on Tel: 1767 691812 or email: [email protected].