Machinery Safety Directive

All machines sold in the European Economic Area (EEA) from January 1st 1995, must comply with the Machinery Directive and be safe.

There are few exclusions to the Directive making this one of the most significant of all the New Approach Directives.

The scope of the Machinery Safety Directive defines a machine as the following:

  • An assembly of linked parts of components, at least one of which moves, with the appropriate actuators, control and power circuits, joined together for a specific application, in particular for the processing, treatment, moving or packaging of a material.
  • An assembly of machines which, in order to archive the same end, are arranged and controlled so that they function as an integral whole;
  • Interchangeable equipment, placed on the European market for the purpose of being assembled with other machinery.

Safety components for machinery, described as:

  • Components which are supplied separately to fulfil a safety function when in use and the failure or malfunctioning of which endangers the safety or health of exposed persons.
  • The New Approach Directives lay down minimum criteria for compliance. These criteria are called The Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR).

The preferred way to comply with EHSR’s is by the application of harmonised EN standards, which are replacing the European national standards of member states, and Risk Assessment.