Criticism of ISO Technical Report ISO/TR 14121-2

03 July 2008

MachineBuilding.netvisit website has published a review of ISO/TR 14121-2 'Safety of machinery - Risk assessments - Practical guidance and examples of methods' but the document is not without its critics.

Peter Still is UK Standards Manager for Industrial Systems & Solutions at Schneider Electric Ltd and is a member of one of the BSI committees that dealt with the preparation of the current editions of ISO 14121-1 and ISO/TR 14121-2. He writes:

"I should point out the reason why Part 2 is only published as a Technical Report, and has not been published by BSI.

"ISO/TR 14121-2 contains a number of examples, some of which are not considered to comply with European legislation, and would not be accepted by HSE [Health and Safety Executive]. In fact at least one of the examples conflicts with a specific European standard that is harmonised under the Machinery Directive.

"The ISO Working Group recognised that there was not a consensus for the inclusion of these examples, but did not wish to continue to try to resolve the disagreements since to do so would have meant the project could not be completed within the timescales allowed under ISO rules.

"There are also several shortcomings in the risk reduction methods chosen, and publication of the document by BSI would have seemed to give a spurious validity to these methods.

"In addition, there was some concern in the UK committee (as well as others) that hard-pressed designers would try to use the examples as templates, and use the 'best fit' to their own design instead of performing the full process detailed in Part 1 of the standard.

"A company that does not already have such a risk assessment method in place would be seriously misled by purchasing the TR and could fail to meet their legal obligations as a result."


Further comments on ISO/TR 14121-2 would be welcomed by the editor. Please email them to .

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