One of the more controversial changes in the new Machinery Directive, which comes into force on 29 December, is the requirement that 'fixing systems must remain attached to the guards or to the machinery when the guards are removed' - with no exceptions. Jeremy Procter, of Procter Machine Guarding, comments: "It is overkill to require ALL such fixings to be captive. Adhering to this requirement will incur additional expense for machine builders, and more difficult replacement in the event of a fixing being damaged."
Nevertheless, this change is now covered by the machine guarding standard EN 953, which has been amended and published as EN 953:1997+A1:2009.
To help machine builders source suitable retained fastenings for fixed guards, there is a new page on MachineBuilding.net that reviews some of the products available. If you know of any others, please email .
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