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EN 1090 – Warning: Is your new building and steelwork legal?

Warning – Is your new building and steelwork legal? BS EN 1090 Compliance

Since 01 July 2014 you have had no choice. If you do not hold BS EN 1090 certification, you cannot trade! The harmonised standard, ‘BS EN 1090 Execution of steel and aluminium structures’, made it an offence to supply fabricated structural steelwork or aluminium that does not conform to the Standard. As a result of the change of regulations you must meet the Standard. In addition your structural steel or aluminium products must carry the CE Mark or the UK equivalent, the UKCA Logo.  In order to be able to use the Mark or Logo, you must gain BS EN 1090 certification.

The Construction Products Directive (CPD) of 1989 led the way

Fabricated steel products and critical construction products are obviously safety critical. The CPD was introduced to provide a common framework for the manufacture and supply of these products in Europe. The 2014 BS EN requirement now moves that forward. Organisations which manufacture or supply these under the CPD are now subject to the legal requirements and for fabricated steel to compy to the BS EN 1090 Standard and to display the CE Mark or UKCA Logo. Clients and Contractors are only permitted to use firms that have the CE Mark / UKCA Logo with a specific ‘Execution Class’ appropriate for the project, as defined in BS EN 1090-1.

BS EN 1090 and its constituent parts

There are thre parts to the ‘BS EN 1090 Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures – Technical requirements for steel structures’. For the purpose of Certification, the three parts are as follows…

1: CE Marking – The requirements for assessing and verifying product or service conformity.
2: The technical requirements in manufacture and assembly of steel structures.
3: Technical requirements in the manufacture and assembly of aluminium structures.

These three parts ensure that all aspects of manufacture and sales within structural fabrication organisations are affected. Of course, with this spread, the responsibility runs deep. Under the BS EN 1090 Standard you should ensure that specific personnel will need training to ensure professional appreciation of the implications of the legal responsibility. We can expect that the following groups will be affected…

  • Directors, middle management, operational management and site management.
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control staff.
  • Construction and Civil Engineers, possibly design and development staff.
  • Inspection, testing and possibly Audit personnel (if ISO 9001 certified).
  • Procurement and customer liaison staff.

In effect, in the BS EN 1090 Standard, any aspect of manufacturing process control has a hand in the final safety outcome of the product.

BS EN 1090 - Site closed image. Legal consequences.
BS EN 1090 - There are serious legal penalties for non-compliance.

Why are so many groups of personnel affected by BS EN 1090?

Under any of the international standards for management, consistency, control and monitoring are essential. In safety critical applications the operational responsibility is high. So, due attention to all aspects of manufacturing ensures good oversight of the production process. However, it is the management and control of those processes that is critical to consistent, and improving, outcomes.

It is with this in mind that many steel fabrication organisations have already installed ISO 9001. This is reinforced by the CBD and BS EN 1090 standard itself. You cannot achieve the appropriate certification without demonstrating that you can also meet the requirements of ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard or a similar quality system. It makes sense to go the full distance. Ultimately, your ISO 9001 certification will support the BS EN 1090 standard.


Responsible Directors and General Managers will want to avoid illegal activity. No good return on investment comes out of breaking the law. The BS EN 1090 Standard applies to all companies who manufacture and sell steel or aluminium structures and structural products. It applies through the UK and Europe. It also applies all the “Execution Classes” set out in the Standard. This sweeping list of critical structures include these Execution Classes…

  1. Farm (agricultural) buildings.
  2. Buildings in general (Commercial and residential).
  3. Stadiums, Bridges and other massive structures.
  4. Safety critical structures with a high failure impact (nuclear power etc).

Generally, the higher the impact of failure, the more critical the safety measures needed to comply with the Standard. This approach offers the construction industry a common approach to selecting the right level of quality and assurance controls.

Consequences, consequences…

The consequences of failure to meet BS EN 1090 are severe. Different aspects of non-compliance have appropriate penalties attached. Depending on the nature of the offence, penalties include suspension notices, prohibition notices, notices to warn, application for forfeiture, fines or imprisonment. Failure to comply may also invalidate project insurance and warranties.

With that range of legal implications Directors will, doubtless, see the sense of a careful and effective risk control response. Unsurprisingly, a robust and effective system is always the best protection against process failure. However, a fully structured risk mitigation framework makes more sense. Hence, the emphasis many organisations are putting on BS EN 1090 and ISO 9001 integration.

The Challenge Charter4 will meet

CHARTER4 has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with a range of international standards. Of course, every business has its unique attributes. However, we meet that challenge by being able to offer you structured support within your niche. That help will focus on you meeting the demands, and the robust requirements, of BS EN 1090 and ISO 9001. However, we want you to improve your business, rather than just comply with the standards. If you would like to know more, we invite you to put us in the picture and tell us all about your unique requirements. Please click one of the buttons below.

Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
  • Improve, rather than just comply.
  • Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
  • Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
  • Help defining your Best Practice.
  • Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
  • 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
  • Help to get Government Grant (when available).
  • Flexible support to complement your resources.
CHARTER4 – Partners you with the experience and insight to help you grow using management Standards. We will help you improve your business, rather than just comply with the Standards.
Charter4 - We partner with you to help you grow using management Standards. [Article Name: The Biggest Mistakes with ISO 9001]