Background information and current status:
Cranes, bulldozers and other Earth-moving Machinery (EMM) have been part of a global industry for years. ISO standards (ISO/TC127) have been used as a common denominator to minimize safety risks. However, the market remains segmented owing to the rarity of mutual recognition agreements in this sector, and, as a consequence, repeated testing and certification—which are particularly costly and lengthy in this sector—unnecessarily elevate prices and distort competition.
In 2003, Working Party 6 set up this sectoral initiative on EMM to increase the scope of application of the existing ISO standards while fostering the mutual recognition of conformity-assessment procedures on the basis of Recommendation L. The initiative’s underlying rationale being to enhance safety while reducing barriers to international trade.
The Working Party supported the proposal to set up a Task Force (see para. 81 of the report of the 2003 session). A first version of the Common Regulatory Objectives (CROs) was drafted in 2004 and circulated among members of the industry, but some have expressed the concern that producers’ self-declaration of conformity (SDoC) might not be feasible in all countries. The need was recognized to improve the compliance clause to address the requirement for third party certification in developing countries where trust in manufacturers’ ability to implement SDoC has not been achieved yet. The CROs are being revised in 2009 to improve the compliance clause.
In 2004, a first model regulatory framework via draft-CROs was adopted. It was revised in 2009 in Stockholm. The draft CROs are primarily based on the ISO/TC127 standards. In 2010, the EMM project initiated a model certificate of conformity that, if broadly adopted, would simplify the exchange of data between the producers, machine users, third-party certifiers and the authorities of exporting and importing countries.
In 2011, the project formally embraced “risk management” and “market surveillance” (in this case “worksite surveillance”) as key tools for achieving the “zero injuries” long-term goal for machine operators and the people on the worksite. This goal was originally set by Working Party 6 members. More specifically, it has been recognized that in the EMM sector the sole SDoC would not be acceptable for certain countries, and that third-party assessments of conformity would still be needed. Moreover, the safety of EMM is dependent upon the safety of the workplace where the machines are used. These considerations increase the number of variables to be taken into account for achieving the “zero injuries” goal and beg a holistic approach to the management of risks connected to the use of EMM.