What is the CE-marking and what is its use?

Have you ever noticed that the letters CE can be found on countless products? Contrary to what many consumers think, it does not stand for China Export, but it is a European mark. Earlier this year, Huub Sluijsmans from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment spoke about the logo at a meeting of the Dutch standardisation organisation (NEN). The marking shows that the manufacturer or supplier complies with European guidelines. All products have required a CE mark since 1995, which can then be useful for identifying the risks of your machines.

According to Article 5 of the Arbowet, the Dutch Working Conditions Act, an employer is required to investigate the risks of machines and installations. Sluijsmans said during the meeting that these risks have already been identified by the manufacturer. This is because, according to the Machinery Directive, it is mandatory to supply documentation (such as manuals) with CE marked machines. In this, attention is paid at least to the following:

  • information about the residual risks;
  • information about the protective measures that are to be taken;
  • information about maintenance work;
  • information about the procedures in the event of accidents or disruptions.

For example, Sluijsmans indicated that the frequency at which the machine in question must be maintained, can be found in this documentation. The actual maintenance period of the machine will of course depend on the intensity of use. If a machine is serviced or inspected less frequently than prescribed, you must substantiate why you do this. If you no longer have the manuals, you can request them from the supplier. These regulations did not yet apply to machines prior to 1995. In that case, you must have a Risk Inventory and Evaluation carried out on your machines.

Please make sure that the CE marking is authentic! There are also other markings in circulation that sometimes look very much like the official version. Below you can see how you can recognise the logo. The official logo is only used as indicated by “ConformitĂ© EuropĂ©enne”. All other versions are counterfeit or mean something else.

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