SGS updates EU requirements for outdoor furniture

Revisions include a clearer definition of terms and setting standards to make them relevant in today's market.

August 07, 2017

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Revisions include a clearer definition of terms and setting standards to make them relevant in today's market.

In order to make compliance easier and prevent misinterpretation, global inspection, verification, testing and certification company SGS has updated recently two outdoor furniture standards for the EU market.

The Switzerland-based firm has announced several revisions for EN 581-1, which states general safety requirements for outdoor furniture, and EN 581-3, which enumerates mechanical safety requirements for outdoor tables.

Among the updates in the EN 581-1 is the clear statement that the set of standards applies to adult-use furniture only. After careful assessment of products available in the market, requirements for gaps and holes have been removed given that most furniture pieces have spaces measuring between 7 and 12mm, which are too small for finger entrapment. Additionally, no incidents of such accidents have been reported.

The revised version also states that edges and corners must be assessed according to the new definitions of accessible parts for seating and tables.

Shear and squeeze points have likewise been reevaluated, and the term "hazard" has been replaced with "risk of injuries" as some points considered as not presenting any danger to the user, taking into account that they can control their own movements.

As for EN 581-3, outdoor table parameters have been aligned with EN 1730:2012, which outlines the testing methods for the determination of stability, strength and durability of tables in general. Force requirements have also been updated from 150N to 300N while versions with glass tops are now required to provide protection between the parasol and glass to stop direct contact.

According to SGS, almost half of all furniture recalls from Europe in the last five years have been for outdoor products. Forty-eight percent of these are for folding chairs. Weak construction, stability problems and finger injuries are the main reasons for the recall.

For the complete list of revisions for the EN 581-1: 2017 and EN 581-3: 2017 standards, click the links.

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