International Standard EN ISO 12100 (Safety of Machinery - General Principles for Design - Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction) is exceptionally detailed. It identifies the hazards, describes the risks to be considered by the designer, and contains principles for design and methods for safe construction and risk reduction.
EN ISO 14121 (Safety of Machinery - Risk Assessment) describes the iterative process for analysing, assessing, and reducing risks to achieve safety requirements.
EN ISO 12100 recommends that the designer follow these procedures for adequate risk reduction:
- Specify the limits and intended use of the machine
- Identify possible hazardous situations, machinery hazards and control measures to mitigate risks
- Estimate the risk entailed for each hazard and hazardous situation identified, including any foreseeable inappropriate behaviour and misuse by operators
- Assess each individual risk and determine whether or not a reduction in risk is necessary
- Endeavour to eliminate or reduce risk through mitigation measures. If this is not possible, then:
- Reduce the risk by using protective machinery safety devices (such as rigid guards or covers, or by using electro-sensitive protective equipment such as safety light curtains)
- Inform and warn the machine operator about any residual risk present in respect of the machine via notices on the machine and in instructions for use
The first four steps describe risk analysis and risk assessment. It is also critical that risk analysis and assessment are carried out methodically and documented understandably.
In addition to the protective measures selected by the machine designer, the machine operator may need to take additional measures to mitigate any residual risk.
These measures may include but are not limited to:
- Organisational measures (e.g. safe working procedures, regular inspections)
- Personal protective equipment
- Training and instruction of all operators
Machinery Safety and Risk Analysis
Machinery safety regulations aim to ensure that machines are manufactured and operated in such a way that, when used as intended, they will not cause injury or damage.
Accident statistics show that a hazard present on a machine will cause damage or injury sooner or later unless protection measures are adopted.
Protection measures are a combination of measures taken by the designer and implemented by the operator. In particular, measures adopted during the construction phase are preferred since they are generally more effective than measures implemented by the operator.