The Machinery Directive sets out the basic health and safety requirements that apply to all machines released on the EU market.
One way of meeting the requirements of the Machinery Directive is to use harmonised standards. Compliance with a harmonised standard therefore assumes compliance with the requirements of the Directive.
Machinery safety standards are divided into three categories: A, B and C standards.
A standards are comprehensive and define the basic health and safety requirements for all types of machinery, while B standards are group safety standards that address a safety aspect or a type of safety-related device that can be used for a variety of machines. C standards are safety standards for machine types that provide detailed safety requirements with risk analysis, risk assessment and risk reduction for a particular machine or group of machines.
A CE marking on a machine shows that the machine can be freely sold on the European market because it complies with the Machinery Directive and any other requirements that may apply. By using the mark, the manufacturer or importer attests that the machine meets EU health, environmental and safety requirements.
One of the top standards in machine safety, EN ISO 13849-1, is currently being revised. The standard will be sent out for consultation in June 2020 and published in 2021. EN ISO 13849-1 covers safety-related parts of control systems and general principles for design. It is one of the largest global machine safety standards.