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Safety Issues Of Mechanical Parking Systems In The Light Of Directive 98/37/EC


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M. Boscolo & E. Padoano


In this paper the authors report some interesting implications of the EU’s directive 98/37/EC, concerning safety of machinery, that derive from identifying the reasonably expected uses of machinery. Such aspects emerged during a forensic study that was carried out after a fatal accident occurred by means of a device named a \“mechanical parking system”. Although the machine is subjected to the cited directive, it is not regulated by a specific standard. After a brief description of the accident course, the circumstances that made it possible are carefully analysed in order to verify a possible unpremeditated omission of the necessary safety measures. Particular attention is given to the characterization of the normal use and of the reasonably expected uses of the machinery: such issues are widely analysed and discussed. The authors conclude that the institution of a prohibition for a specific type of usage is not sufficient to exclude that type as a reasonably expected use. Keywords: mechanical parking systems, machinery safety, forensic studies. 1 Introduction The chronic parking shortage, which affects the urban centres, has lead to a generalised tendency to concentrate the increasing car numbers on the few available areas, according to intensive solutions characterized by the spasmodic research for the manoeuvre spaces reduction and by the distribution on different levels that can be reached with dedicated ramps. Recently, this solution evolved to further radically intensive forms, in which the necessity to reduce the manoeuvre spaces on behalf of the parking places, lead to the total elimination of the access ramp, dedicated lift systems allowing


mechanical parking systems, machinery safety, forensic studies.