Are New Power Tool Regulations Incoming for Europe?

The European Union has seen massive shakeups in recent years. The world watched as the UK decided to leave the EU altogether, although they are definitely taking their time finalizing that. And in the wake of this decision, we have seen a rise in the number of other EU nations deciding to hold their own EU referendums.

All of this, when combined with the global pandemic has created an unstable and uncertain political environment. And within all this chaos it seems the operation of the normal governmental business has been stalled.

But there is one bill that is still gaining some traction, especially since the world went into lockdown. The New Power Tool Regulation Act.


The Regulation Act

This bill was brought forward originally in 2016. The idea was to put more restrictions on the distribution and usage of Power Tools in both a commercial and professional landscape. This means everyone from a casual DIY enthusiast to a professional construction firm.

But why these sudden restrictions? The idea was primarily one of safety. The bill wasn’t intending to stifle businesses who relied on these tools, far from it. The bill put forward that anyone looking to use power tools would first have to obtain and certificate, undergo training, and be run through a rigorous background check.

The bill, mainly aimed at reducing the number of accidents occurring in the workplace and in private residences, was initially met with massive disapproval, particularly from more industrial-focused nations such as Germany.


Updated and Changed

The bill was not one of the most pressing items on the long list of issues the EU has to discuss. As such, it has undergone many changes over the years, with only a few discussions about its contents taking place. The latest amendments to it sought to remove the restrictions being placed on professional firms and independent contractors.

This middle-ground regulation seemed to please a lot of the more industrious nations and governing bodies. The EU sought advice from a few independent experts such as the authority on welding and the COOSH regulatory committee. Both these groups have since had a significant impact on the bill, mainly focusing on removing the restrictions for professionals.


The Private Buyer

So what does all this mean for you, the private power tool user? And why are they seemingly targeting only you?

The biggest issue they are claiming is safety. Power Tools can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Accidents can and do happen all the time. So this is the most obvious reason behind these new restrictions. If a power tool buyer has been on a course and received training, they are less likely to hurt themselves.

There is also a financial advantage. No doubt these courses would not be free. If a government can find a new way to make money for its citizens, you can guarantee they will take it.


Dangerous Weapons

Another reason that was floated by those proposing this bill was the use of power tools as weapons. A lot of EU nations have very strict gun control. Because of this, they have seen a rise in power tools being used in malicious or criminal ways. So the imposed background checks and strict regulations would help reduce this number even further.

Some experts have claimed this is dead-end thinking. That there are already too many power tools in circulation for this to have any real effect on these numbers.

Whatever you might think about this bill, it is important to note it is still in the preliminary discussion phases and we won’t see it enacted for years yet.