The Pneurop Committee 3 (PN 3) leads the way for tool manufacturers in the industrial and construction site fields in the expanding European Union.

The simple aim in the beginning was:

To prepare recommendations for pneumatic tools

The task now is to address worker related challenges brought about by increased legislation by the following objectives:

  • To develop between members a uniform awareness of – and subsequent compliance with – all Directives, Regulations and Standards.
  • To provide an environment for the continued communication of standards activity, development and understanding.
  • To provide a forum to discuss how products are tested, measurements taken and results quoted and to help in the education of the interpretation of these results.
  • To develop close working relationships with: other Pneurop Committees and working groups, CAGI (Compressed Air and Gas Institute), bodies representing the Electric and Hydraulic tool industries.
  • To provide a forum for members to discuss the effects of current and forthcoming technical legislation, standards etc. upon their products; to enable the consensus of members’ opinions to be represented to outside bodies in order, where appropriate, to influence the drafting of such legislation, standards etc.
  • To promote the use of members’ technical knowledge and experience by preparing Pneurop recommendations and contributing to European and International standards, so that they may be practical and appropriate to our industry.


Pneumatic tools for specific solutions is the key to PNEUROP members activities where a balance has to be struck between the needs of the user and the demands of legislation.

Worker protection the environment and ever changing work practices challenge the pneumatic tool manufacturer to provide a ‘better solution’ and PNEUROP members are addressing these issues. Although vibration and noise are not new issues the imposition of regulatory requirements focus the minds of PNEUROP members to respond with the ever important aspect of applying ergonomic solutions to the challenge of meeting the customers needs.

Lower noise and vibration from pneumatic tools protects the worker but achieving these goals is not always consistent with providing an adequate performance.

The industrial landscape that is the market for compressed air has changed not only in the EU member states but also in the world as a whole. Where there was once heavy industry and mining that in some parts of the EU has given way to light and high technology industry. That brings with it the demand for improved pneumatic tool design and performance.


The early moves to introduce a European market started with the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, although that was not all Europe only 6 countries. This eventually evolved into the European Economic Community in 1958 (PNEUROP was being proposed at this time also) which included a slightly expanded number of countries with notable exceptions. It still had to be remembered that there was also the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) with a limited number of countries which began in 1960. Now there is the European Union which was introduced in 1993 and which has in very recent years expanded to 27 countries but there is still also EFTA. It is fortunate for manufacturers that there is the European Economic Area which unites the EU member states with EFTA members into an Internal Market governed by the same basic rules.

The all important issues for manufacturers was the introduction in 1993 of the Internal Market which removed the ‘borders’ for goods and services. This was not achieved over night since there was a requirement to introduce legislation to make it work.

This short introduction to history highlights the fact that during all the years that culminated in the ‘Internal Market’ manufacturers had to comply with national requirements in all those countries which now submit to the Internal Market. For manufacturers that has been a streamlining of costs and a benefit to customers.

Some legislation which pneumatic tool manufacturers have to comply with:

Legislation of general interest to tools:

EU Good Practice Guides:


PNEUROP has been instrumental in developing recommendations for the pneumatic tools field since 1959 before the development of ISO standards in ISO TC118 in 1965. In partnership with the US organisation the Compressed Air and Gas Institute ( CAGI ) a number of cooperative projects have been undertaken which have resulted in joint publications. Notably the PNEUROP/ CAGI noise test code which was ultimately used to produce EN ISO 15744 which is used in the EU as compliance with the Machines Directive.

The PNEUROP Pneumatic Tools sector has provided the user with standardised specifications which have identified common terms, noise measuring codes, vibration measuring methods, safe use information, dust emission measurement methods and many other specifications. Most of these have progressed into the ISO arena.

PNEUROP Tools committee was also ready in 1989 to provide the basic drafts for the industry standards necessary to support compliance with the Machines Directive that was being produced. The formation of the European Standards committee CEN TC255 would not have been possible without the positive support of PNEUROP and its members.

Standards produced with the support of PNEUROP in ISO TC118 SC3:

  • ISO 8662 series in 14 parts “Hand-held portable power tools – Test methods for evaluation of vibration emission” – this provided single-axis measurement of vibration. This standard is now revised and has a new identity.
  • EN ISO 28927 series in 11 parts “Hand-held portable power tools – Test methods for evaluation of vibration emission” – this now provides 3-axis measurement of vibration.
  • EN 792 series in 13 parts “Hand-held non-electric power tools — Safety requirements” this was produced only to provide compliance with the EU Machines Directive. This standard is now revised and has a new identity.
  • EN ISO 11148 series also in 13 parts “Hand-held non-electric power tools — Safety requirements” this provides not only compliance with EU legislation but also can be used around the world.
  • EN ISO 15744 “Hand-held non-electric power tools. Noise measurement code. Engineering method (grade 2)” this provides not only compliance with EU legislation but can be used around the world.

To see the work of ISO TC118 SC3 click here.


There are no PN 3 publications available at the moment.