We’re excited to announce that we can add two letters to the labels of three popular Notch products: CE. The Triple Action Snap Hook, ¾-inch Rigging Spring Block, and the Rope Runner Pro have earned the Conformité Européenne (CE) certification mark, signifying that they meet the standards needed to be distributed in Europe for use by European arborists and others who work at height.
The CE mark is tough to achieve—not because the standards are more stringent than those that might be better known in the U.S. (like ASTM), but because the certification process is more comprehensive. Along with successful physical test results against a specific standard (more on that in a minute), the process for getting certified includes a review of the manufacturing and quality-control process, among other detailed requirements.
Look for this mark on the label of the Notch Rope Runner Pro and other Notch products. It's a big deal.
Among the 1%: Notch Rope Runner Pro
The certification process was especially involved for the Rope Runner Pro (RRP). Why? When we started, the RRP was outside the scope of any current European Standard (EN) for personal protective equipment (PPE), as there are currently no standards in the EU specifically for arboriculture. That meant the specification needed to be written and approved, and then VVUU, the certifying organization, could use those performance requirements to gauge whether to grant the CE mark. This path to certification happens to only 1% of all PPE certified for the EU market.
“The real difficulty comes from the popular single rope technique,” says Travis Shipman, Quality Manager at Notch Equipment. “The closest applicable standard is EN 12841, but it requires a backup line and safety device separate from the working line.” That unique use case helps to show why the new specification was necessary.
What kind of testing did the RRP need to undergo? Shipman shared these examples:
- Static testing to ensure that it can hold a specific amount of weight for a specific amount of time
- Heat dissipation testing to ensure the end user can continuously operate the device without burning their hands
- Descent velocity testing to ensure the end user can maintain a reasonable descent rate
After engaging with the third-party lab, it took a grueling five months to test and certification.
About the Notch Triple Action Snap Hook and ¾” Rigging Spring Block
Like the RRP, the Notch Triple Action Snap Hook is classified as category 3 PPE. However, the testing for the Snap Hook is simple and consists of static pull testing to verify that it meets the required specification:
- 15kN Major axis gate closed and unlocked
- 20kN Major axis gate closed and locked
The requirements are different for the Notch ¾” Rigging Spring Block because it’s not considered PPE. Instead, the Spring Block is certified to an EU machinery directive: certification is based on the specifications for the block and the manufacturer’s production controls so that it consistently meets that specification. For the most part, the initial standard is determined by static pull testing to test overall breaking strength. Done and done.
A sign of our dedication
At Notch, we’re dedicated to producing innovative arborist equipment that makes work safer and easier. CE certification confirms that — and helps us get our products into the hands of more arborists.
“The CE mark is a validation of our quality,” says Mike Ziecik, product development manager at Notch Equipment. “For our customers, it should provide peace of mind.”
Three great Notch products—including the Rope Runner Pro—are now CE (Conformité Européenne) certified. Here’s what that means, and why it’s huge news.