Review: A practical guide to machinery safety, 4th edition

31 October 2011

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Review: A practical guide to machinery safety, 4th editionLaidler Associates, part of the machinery division of TUV Product Service, recently published the fourth edition of its booklet A practical guide to machinery safety. What follows is a brief review of this publication by the editor of

This edition of the guide is the first since the Laidler Group was acquired by TUV SUD Product Service, so the visual appearance is rather different from that of the third edition. While the vast majority of the content of the fourth edition has been carried over from the previous edition, there are also notable additions.

First, there is a page on the guide's co-sponsors, namely TUV SUD Product Service, Laidler Associates and Safety Systems Technology Ltd, the latter two of which are now parts of the machinery division of TUV SUD Product Service. Second, there are two new in-depth case studies to replace the three much shorter items in edition 3.

Some of the section on Risk Assessment has been revised to take account of the demise of BS EN 954-1 and its replacement by BS EN ISO 13849-1. In addition there is now a useful table, reproduced from IEC 62061 (EN 62061) to help readers choose whether ISO 13849-1 or IEC 62061 is most appropriate for a given application, based on the technology being used to implement the safety-related control function(s).

CE marking and PUWER

As in the previous edition of the guide, Section 4 describes The 4 steps to CE Marking for the Machinery Directive. Likewise, Section 5 is EMC Solutions – including guidelines for installing servodrives. Sections 6 and 7 remain, respectively, PUWER and Pre-Purchase Audit.

However, whereas Section 8 of the third edition covered Safety products, in the new edition this section describes the Engineering services available from Safety Services Technology (SST).

Section 9, Appendices, contains forms, charts and checklists for use when considering safety-related control systems to ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061, performing risk assessments and compiling a Technical File in accordance with the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.

Despite the amended content and the visual redesign, the fourth edition of the guide is the same length as the previous edition, at just over 50 pages. Considering that the guide is offered free of charge, either for a paper copy or a PDF that can be downloaded directly from the Laidler Associates website, this guide is definitely worth having. It does not contain every last detail that would be required to design a safe machine, but no single publication could ever achieve this goal. Nevertheless, the verdict on A practical guide to machinery safety remains 'get a copy'.

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