The importance of the CE marking to guarantee the quality of the manhole steps.
The CE mark is compulsory since 2002 for every kind of manhole step (steps for construction sector) following the UNE-EN-13101 European Norm and without this marking, nobody can manufacture or commercialize in Europe.
Manhole steps are a complementary product in the civil works and clients usually do not know or ask for the norms. However, this product implies a very important detail in the facilities: Manhole steps are designed for persons to ascend and descend, having direct implication with the safety of the worker.
Unfortunately, nowadays a substantial proportion of manhole steps imports, comes from China and even national manufacturers do not trust in the norm, because it is a cheap product. IVERNA 2000, is one of the few companies that sells a certified product with the CE marking.
Images of three manhole steps in an impact test, in which a 20kg rapper hits the manhole step from one meter. Third picture (non-certified product) do not surpasses the test, breaking itself in four different spots. However, IVERNA manhole step on the first and second picture, exceeds the test just with a slight deformation on the plastic.
The quality of the raw material
In our own quality laboratory, we analyze the product of the competitors, especially Chinese manhole steps and we have come into alarming conclusions: They do not use decent quality of plastic and steel and do not respect any part of the norm, which can lead to a fall of the people, affecting directly into the workers lives. The plastic used for the step must absorb the beatings it receives to insert it. If it is not a high-quality plastic, at the moment of the installation it splinters or the pieces of the plastic are detached, which leave the steel rod visible and the corrosion process begins. Moreover, if the thickness of the steel is not enough, when it comes to support the weight of the body on the step, the stud integrated in the manhole can break apart and start the same corrosion process.
The European Norm EN-13101 specifies that for every batch of 1000 steps manufactured, it is mandatory to perform an individual test. For that reason, it is forbidden to publish the tests on the Internet, giving always the same test modifying the date, because the manufacturer can change the quality of the raw materials, without guaranteeing the required resistance.
Regarding the norm, the step must resist a strength of 5 Kn on a solid concrete block. The test was performed with a strength of 25 Kn. The concrete block cracked using 14 Kn without breaking the manhole step.
You can know more about our quality tests for the EN 13101 Norm in the following link.