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How to find the right standards for machine safety?
Everybody who is developing, manufacturing or using machines will be dealing with standards for machine safety. What are standards, why do you need them and where can you find the standards for specifically your machine(s)?
What are standards?
Standards are in general a collection of risk reduction measures to achieve adequate risk reduction for a machine.
There are different types of standards: A, B and C standards.
A-standards are general safety standards (e.g. how to perform a risk assessment)
B-standards are standards that specify risk reduction measures for types of hazards, e.g. ergonomic hazards
C-standards are standards that specify risk reduction measures for specific machines, e.g. risk reduction measures for lift tables
Why do you need standards?
Standards define how adequate risk reduction is achieved with current state of the art solutions. They specify the safety level that a machine needs to have when placing it on the market. Harmonized standards have a presumption of conformity with EU legislation. When you comply with a harmonized standard, it is assumed that your machine complies with EU legislation for the risks that the standard describes.
Overview of standards
An overview of standards for the machinery directive 2006/42/EC can be found in UIT 78 (available at www.NEN.nl , only in Dutch)
Standards change, how to cope with that?
Because standards specify the current state of the art, they are subject to change, because technology evolves. Therefore it is wise to regularly check whether a standard has been changed and act accordingly.
Which standards are relevant for my machine?
A-standard NEN-EN-ISO 12100:2010 is necessary for the risk assessment. This standard is always applicable.
B-standards that describe the type of hazards that are applicable to your machine.
C-standards that have your machine in scope.
Sometimes no C-standards can be found that have a certain machine in scope. Then you are left with the A-standard for the risk assessment and the B-standards. If you need help for this, you can contact BKL