- The Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC
- The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994/3260)
- DTI Guidance Notes on the Electrical Equipment, UK Regulations (ref. URN 07/616)
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations (LVD) applies to all electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V AC and between 75 and 1500 V DC. Plugs and Sockets are covered by separate legislation namely the Plugs and Sockets Etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No. 1768). Broadly, the scope of the LVD covers consumer and capital goods designed to operate within those voltage limits, including in particular electrical appliances, lighting equipment including ballasts, switch gear and control gear, electric wiring, appliance couplers and cord sets, electrical installation equipment, etc. and electrical equipment intended for incorporation into other equipment such as transformers and motors.
The Directive covers all risks arising from the use of electrical equipment, including not just electrical ones but also mechanical, chemical (such as, in particular, emission of aggressive substances), health aspects of noise and vibrations, and ergonomic aspects as far as ergonomic requirements are necessary to protect against hazards in the sense of the Directive. The LVD lays down eleven “safety objectives”, which represent the essential requirements of this Directive.
Products are presumed to conform to the safety objectives of the LVD where the equipment has been manufactured in accordance with a harmonised standard. Alternatively, the manufacturer may construct the product in conformity with the essential requirements (safety objectives) of the LVD, without applying harmonised, international or national standards. In such a case the product will not benefit from presumption of conformity and therefore the manufacturer must include in the technical documentation a description of the solutions adopted to satisfy the safety aspects of the Directive.
Before a product is placed on the market the following must happen:
- The manufacturer must put together a technical documentation which makes it possible to assess whether the product complies with the directive
- The manufacturer or the authorised representative must draw up a ‘declaration of conformity’.
- The manufacturer or the authorised representative must affix the CE marking
- Advice on the applicability and completeness of standards to products
- Testing to harmonised, international, national standards, or client’s own specification.
- Assessment for compliance with the LVD
- Assessment of the technical documentation
- A notified body report in accordance with article 11 of the LVD.