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December 6, 2010

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Businesses warned about changes to machine safety standards

Safety compliance consultancy Laidler Associates has reminded businesses about the upcoming changes to machine safety standards.

The standards affected are: EN ISO 12100-1:2003, Safety of machinery – Basic concepts, general principles for design – Basic terminology, methodology; EN ISO 12100-2:2003, Safety of machinery – Basic concepts, general principles for design – Part 2: Technical principles; and EN ISO 14121-1:2007, Safety of machinery – Risk assessment – Part 1: Principles.

These standards are being superseded and replaced by a single new standard, entitled ISO 12100:2010, Safety of machinery ¬– General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction. No date has been announced for the introduction of the new standard but Laidler says it has been harmonised and published in its ISO and EN forms. It’s understood that BSI is currently in the final stages of working on the UK version and that its publication is imminent.

Laidler Associates’ managing director, Paul Laidler, explained that, even though the existing standards are being consolidated into one standard, there would be no changes to the requirements themselves. Paul also revealed that documentation for machines already in use, which refers to the existing standards, would not need to be revised.  However, documentation for all machines supplied after the change has taken place must refer to the latest standard.

He explained further: “Though the requirements won’t change, the numbering relating to them certainly will, which means that any documentation that refers to individual requirements will have to be revised accordingly, if it is to be supplied with new machines.

“This will particularly affect companies with machines in series production, and companies that are currently designing machines that will not be supplied until after the new standard comes into force.

“We would strongly suggest that these companies take note of the impending changes now, and prepare for them, rather than waiting until the last minute.”

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