An intrusive series of standards, but in good way

An intrusive series of standards, but in good way

25 September 2019 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ by Aldo Avancini /

How to deal with the new standards on the safety of rides? Aldo Avancini gives us his opinion.

Ing. Aldo Avancini / Proposta Srl

Last May, the European Committee for Standardization issued the new standards on the safety of rides to the technical standardisation bodies in EU member states. EN 13814 has thus been updated to the new 2019 version, bringing with it a series of observations, questions, requests for clarifications and so on, awaiting a technical report to clarify of all the above.

Let me start by saying that, in my opinion, these new standards should not be “delegated” nor “accepted” – in other words considered along the lines of “if the customer wants something new he will ask me” – but rather must be considered “intrusive”. They should be experienced as an opportunity to improve the manufacturer’s professional, design and construction culture in general, but also the professional culture of the individual operator, regardless of their function or tasks. 

The aspect that in my opinion needs to be emphasised is that they are not just “paper”, but rather a situation that requires “management” of the entire design, production and operating cycle of the ride. 

I am the first to say that safety is not proportional to the amount of documentation dedicated to a ride. I also need to stress that EN 13814:2019 leaves some points to be defined and requires considerable clarifications, even on important aspects. I am nonetheless convinced that this new series of standards, if not accepted but rather “lived”, will allow a more complete approach to the typical problems involving rides. It will certainly be easy to claim that in the standards, the technical-engineering concepts in certain countries (where production is numerically lower but individually each ride costs more) have prevailed over the multi-functional technical/artistic concepts typical of much larger production volumes involving a lower cost of each individual ride. The new standards will surely affect the incidence of costs, becoming more affordable on a major ride than on a small or medium ride; however considering the standards’ long gestation period, this impact in my opinion may have already been predicted, diluted and to some extent factored in.

The important thing is not to simply accept this situation, but rather to exploit it in the much more positive direction of distributing knowledge and professionalism at all levels, both in the factory and in technical departments. And I should also add in the sales department!

In fact, especially in the agreed transition period (ending 31 May, 2022), people involved in ‘sales’ (here meaning involved in both sales and purchasing) must be aware that there may be different situations. For example, regarding a ride designed based on the 2004 version but manufactured as far as possible using the required improvements, or fully compliant with the 2019 version, those involved need to know how to sell/buy it from an economic point of view.

The important thing is clarity in the transaction between those buying and selling. However, while still recognising that a ride compliant with the 2004 version is not dangerous, neglected or low quality as it brings together years of experience, above all in production, demonstrated by many rides that work very well all over the world. 

Taken from Games&Parks Industry September 2019, page 132

Ing. Aldo Avancini /  Proposta Srl /