The European product specification BS EN74-1:2005
Couplers, spigot pins and baseplates for use in falsework and scaffolds, recognises the essential safety requirements for scaffolders, safety officers and other site personnel to be able to visually identify EN74 scaffold fittings, by placing a requirement on the coupler manufacturer to mark each EN74 scaffold fitting with a series of identification letters and numbers, clearly and durably.
Each coupler is marked by impressing or embossing on the flap of the body of the coupler and should be legible after the protective coating has been applied.
The height of the characters should be at least 4.0 mm and their depth should be at least 0.2mm.
The key below shows the minimum markings to be found on all EN74 scaffold fittings, which may also contain extra letters or symbols, such as patent numbers, die or batch codes that the manufacturer has optionally added for their own marketing or production quality control purpose.
Couplers are marked in one or two lines with the following information, in the sequence shown: ● reference to EN74-1;
● registered trademark or the manufacturer (xx);
● year of manufacture (last two digits only);
● coupler class (A or B);
● type of ongoing production inspection if provided (L or M).
EN74-1 xx 05 A L (this latter marking is a new requirement and critical to the validity of a new fitting described in Annex B, see extract below) Apart from the methods used to test and assess EN74-1 scaffold fittings, the most significant change to the UK user was the introduction of a second load bearing class of right-angle coupler and sleeve coupler, respectively identified as class A for the lower strength fittings and class B for the higher strength fittings – hence the necessity to include the marking of either A or B on EN74 fittings.
Because of the relatively long life of scaffold fittings, the 1993 edition of BS5973 recognised that it would be some considerable time before EN74 fittings were in common site use and longer still before BS1139 couplers were no longer available.
However there are now new load requirements and this fact should not in 2010 be excused in any new purchase of equipment.