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During the 52nd ANACAM National Assembly, which took place in Milano Marittima from 15 to 17 June, ample space was dedicated to EFESME and its activities in Europe and around the world at a technical, political and regulatory level with contributions from Federation President Massimo Bezzi; Elettra Bilibio, EFESME Policy Advisor; and technical experts Ivan Ferrarini, Marco Cogliati, Tiziano Caresani, and Paolo Tattoli.
President Bezzi reflected on how much the scenario has changed in the last twelve months, which were marked first by extreme confusion due to the problems arising from the fluctuation in raw material prices, then by a frenetic recovery to make up for lost time with a strong increase in sales thanks also to investments in various countries to support the recovery of the markets. Today the sector faces further challenges at both European and national level, Bezzi explained, such as the dramatic shortage of skilled labour to produce, install, and maintain the lift systems. Using the labour available on the market, with little or no experience or expertise, is likely to increase workplace accident statistics. During a recent meeting with the representative of the large companies ELA-European Lift Association, EFESME's counterpart, accident statistics were presented with data from 15 countries for the years 2021-2022. In the two-year period under consideration there were 22 deaths in the lift industry. In 2022 alone, more than 710 accidents between installation and maintenance can be counted; more than 50 per cent of these are due to improper use of the tools available or incorrect procedures on the part of technicians. Now more than ever, resources must be dedicated to adequate information and training across the board. This was also one of the objectives EFESME set itself in its 2019-2024 Manifesto, published to coincide with the European Parliament's five-year term.
COLLABORATIONS WITH EFESME MEMBERS
The Federation has participated in two FEPYMA events to talk about the elimination of architectural barriers and to try to support sector-specific economies at the local level. The first event took place in Tenerife in November 2022 while the second was held in Seville in May 2023. On both occasions, representatives of institutions at local, national and European levels were involved. At the European level, FEPYMA has become an extremely active member of EFESME with top quality projects.
One of the projects EFESME is carrying out with ANACAM is the collective pavilion in Augsburg at the trade fair from 17 to 20 October. The aim is to involve SMEs within a common European context. At the German fair, on the afternoon of 17 October, the SBS Lift Forum will be held within the VFA-Forum to talk about the new versions of EN 81-41 and EN 81-42, the new Machinery Regulation and its impact on the sector, and light curtains on platforms with automatic manoeuvring.
The magazine Elevator World Europe is the official publication of the Federation and offers the opportunity to publish articles on the products and activities carried out by the SMEs that are members of EFESME's member associations. Over the past year, EFESME's technical experts have been involved in the various ANACAM territory meetings and have been able to inform about the results of the technical activities carried out in the working groups.
ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE
EFESME carries out both political-institutional activities and purely technical and standardisation activities, supported by and in support of different entities: from the European Commission itself to ELA, SBS-Small Business Standard, and SMEunited. During a meeting with Frauke Hoss, from the European Commission-DG GROW H.2, EFESME had the opportunity to present its instances in the technical-normative field, during a meeting attended by technical experts Ivan Ferrarini, Paolo Tattoli, and Luciano Faletto. EFESME responded to the consultation opened by the European Commission on Ecodesign by reiterating its conviction that lifts cannot be included in the Directive on the basis of the difficulty of classifying them in a simplified manner as is the case for other products that have fewer variables. Another activity that is being carried out with ELA concerns the activity of the technical group within the World Escalator Elevator Forum, the Federation of lift associations at global level created a few years ago. At the end of May, a webinar was organised that confronted three completely different but interconnected realities such as Europe, the United States and India through their respective associations EFESME - NAEC - EECMAI, which discussed the main industry standards.
ACTIVITIES WITH SBS AND SMEUNITED
Regular meetings are organised in cooperation with SBS to coordinate the various activities. The SBS Lift Forum 2022 addressed the topic of special tools and instructions for use, and their availability at the installation; it was also emphasised that their absence poses a problem for SMEs, for the safety of installations, and for the protection of consumer interests.
EFESME also participates in several internal cross-sectoral working groups to identify common policies on which to involve members and experts. Last year, at the suggestion of ANACAM, a study was developed with Giuseppe Iotti and Luca Incoronato on national initiatives regarding the modification of existing installations. It came to the conclusion that a European standard in this regard, although desirable, could be counterproductive due to the different national situations in place, and that therefore the solution of European guidelines seems more suitable.
A new questionnaire will be sent to all EFESME members to collect opinions on the application of EN 81-20 and EN 81-50 and to identify critical issues.
For activities with SBS, at ISO, CEN and ETSI level, EFESME can count on the support of five experts for 2023: Luciano Faletto, Tiziano Caresani, Marco Cogliati, Ivan Ferrarini and Rocco Iacchetti. Also joining the EFESME family is Paolo Tattoli, who will support and complement Mr Faletto's position and gradually replace him in the ISO area.
SBS, just as it did for FEPYMA, is available to meet all SMEs in the territory in an attempt to try to bring them closer and closer to the world of standardisation, which is certainly not a simple topic.
SMEunited represents around 12 million small enterprises in various sectors at European level. EFESME has been a member since its foundation. Politically, it is an excellent reference even though recently there seemed to be an intention to set aside the sector-specific activity in favour of the development of wide-ranging horizontal policies. Nevertheless, during the June meeting in Stockholm, a desire emerged for a continuation of the political protection of associations representing specific sectors.
EFESME started to study this topic in 2018 addressing it from different perspectives: digitalisation, cyber security, the role of European and international standardisation, smart lifts, not least the impact of BIM. Within the Federation, a Digital Working Group is active, which also has the task of collecting requests from national members.
At the end of President Bezzi's speech, the new video made to present EFESME's activities was screened.