20 October 2019 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ by Gianni Chiari /

The new EN 13814:2019 European standard: where are we now?

Gianni Chiari /  Member of CEN/TC 152, ASTM F 24, ISO/TC254 Technical Committees 

In my previous articles we discussed the adoption of EN 13814:2019 the new European standard on amusement rides safety. I don’t want to repeat myself on this very same issue but it will be useful to give our readers an update on the current status of the new standard while re-emphasizing some of the key concepts, as we are now in the midst of its adoption and the overlap period of the 2 editions (2004 and 2019). 

Reports on implementation change every day. The table on the right shows the updated version (as of 26 October 2019 according to the official CEN documents) with the countries that have already adopted or announced the new edition of Part 1. However, It should be noted that at the time of publication of this article the situation may have already changed; therefore, where necessary, we invite you to check country-specific cases individually. More accurately, it should be checked whether the ‘old’ 2004 edition has been withdrawn or is still in effect. 

The overlap period of the 2 editions has already begun in many countries, raising what I suppose are the first of many more doubts to come. We were able to ask and were granted by CEN that this overlap period should be treated as one of those special cases in which an industry sector (both manufacturing and operators) need a great deal of time to adapt, and so were able to put it forward to 36 months, as opposed to the usual 6. We will have to make good use of this time to avoid ending up with unresolved problems. Unfortunately, there is no single strategy in all European nations, so everyone will adjust as they see fit, depending on their reality and legislation. One of the most common doubts is whether the new standard applies to existing attractions. Let’s make this a bit clearer: it is written in the same standard that it does not apply to attractions designed and built before the publication of EN 13814:2019, as explicitly stated in the last 2 lines of the Purpose:

“This document is applicable to manufacturing and major modification of amusement devices and rides for designs after the effective date of publication.”

We cannot rule out the possibility that a single country might independently decide to make the adaptation of existing attractions to the new EN 13814:2019 standard ‘mandatory’ by law; but that would make things extremely complicated for operators, who might incur adaptative running costs which are higher than the value of the attraction itself. This is a very salient issue to several countries. 

A word of warning to those who might be planning to modify an existing attraction in compliance with the 2004 edition: in the passage from the above cited ‘Purpose’ we find a mention of any “major modification” made after the publication of  EN 13814:2019. What exactly is meant by “major modification”?

The term is defined in point 24 of chapter 3 “Term and definition”:

Major modification: safety-related alteration to the hardware or software of an amusement device (3.1), including the introduction of a new safety-related component (3.41) or the substitution of a safety-related component (3.41), which results in a deviation from the current design specification.”

Let’s try to clarify this definition: it means that if the change leads to a departure from the original project in terms of safety, the criteria and requirements to be followed must be those of the new EN 13814:2019. Given the multiplicity of possible situations, it will not be easy and immediate to define the cases in practice. The need for a Technical Report on the application of EN 13814:2019 is increasingly evident. This should clarify in detail and provide examples of how to deal with potentially problematic areas. At this stage, we recommend manufacturers to check the country-specific status of the new EN 13814:2019 standard and whether the previous EN 13814:2004 is still in effect. 

They will have to ascertain the specific category of service on a contractual level, find out what norm is applicable and immediately contact the relevant inspection body to inform them regarding the technical norms and regulatory framework they intend to apply and whether there are any particular questions on the most important points of the project. 

We would recommend the same to park operators in terms of contracts: have a very unequivocal understanding of the technical norms that apply and what purchases are made, as oftentimes attraction parts are manufactured by the park itself and they, in turn, must comply with the EN 13814:2019 standard (i.e. queue lines, fences, entrances, and so on). 

In terms of changes to existing attractions, we recommend verifying whether they fall into the category of “major modification” because that’s where things get rather complicated and it is of the utmost importance to speak directly with the inspection body and inform them of what attraction parts will be affected by the new EN 13814:2019 standard.  All these clarifications should be made during the contractual phase, otherwise there may be significant economic consequences on the project and supply.

That’s enough for the moment. We will give further clarifications in the next articles as issues and doubts will progressively be highlighted, for which possible solutions will be proposed.

Taken from Games&Parks Industry October 2019, page 96

Gianni Chiari /  Member of CEN/TC 152, ASTM F 24, ISO/TC254 Technical Committees and “Una Giostra per Tutti” project manager.  info@technicalservices.it