The Machinery Directive is EU legislation that is implemented in the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) by local laws in order to ensure the establishment and functioning of the internal market of the EU. The EU also wishes to ensure that base level of health and safety remains very high.
For this reason, The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, broadly speaking, has two objectives:
That depends on who you are. Take a look at the more detailed explanation of the different roles in the machinery directive and how you might knowingly, or unknowingly, be taking these duties on.
As the manufacturer you are responsible for completing the conformity assessment procedure for CE marking the machine to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.
If you supply (or make available) for use in to the EEA for the first time a machine that:
…. Then you are the manufacturer. Now who are you?
The CE mark should have been applied by the manufacturer at the point of supply or putting in to service. If you are satisfied that this was done correctly (see PUWER Regulation 10) then no further action is needed.
The modification or adaption of machines is always a hot topic and is the quickest way to take on duties under the Machinery Directive, effectively, as the manufacturer of the changes you have made. The best option is always to seek to maintain the existing CE mark. This can be achieved in the following manner:
However, where your changes take the use of the machine outside of its intended use and limits by substantial modifications e.g. increase in load bearing capacity, increased through-put, a change in safety concept or a change in the environment of use then this is likely to require a conformity assessment in full for the purposes of CE Marking the Machine afresh.
It is important to know the definitions of machinery in the directive since these dictate where the requirements and what requirements shall be met. There are several definitions of what qualifies as a machine and in some cases this affects the nature and the output of the conformity assessment procedure.
The primary and most basic definition of a machine in the directive is given in article 2 (a) as:
(a) ‘machinery’ means:
“an assembly, fitted with or intended to be fitted with a drive system other than directly applied human or animal effort, consisting of linked parts or components, at least one of which moves, and which are joined together for a specific application…”
For example, an electric motor in itself is not a ‘machine’ in these terms. However, an electric motor assembled with a gearbox or pump would be.
The European Commission were the authors but it was approved for use by the European Parliament and the Council.
The Machinery Directive applies to machines, however, in the supply or manufacture of machines certain people take on roles and legal duties (enforced by local laws implementing the Directive). These roles are:
The ‘manufacturer’ is primarily responsible for the safe design and condition of the machine at the point of supply. Once the machine is put in to use in the workplace (assuming that it is not for domestic use) there are legal duties under PUWER in the UK that also put responsibility on to the user/employer.
However, where the manufacturer gives a written mandate to an authorised representative then the responsibility for the safety of the machine can be shared with the authorised representative.
The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 is the UK implementation of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. It is very nearly an exact copy and paste with a few adjustments around citations. A notable difference is the UK requirement to identify a 'responsible person'.
The responsibility for demonstrating that machinery complies with the Directive rests on the
'responsible person'. The responsible person In relation to machinery or partly completed machinery is either:
It is a well-known fact that in the UK it is more likely that enforcement will occur under PUWER as opposed to the UK law that implements the Machinery Directive i.e. the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, as amended by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.
The enforcement of the Machinery Directive in the UK is awkward since it is primarily trade law under the European Communities Act and is therefore aligned to Trading Standards primarily. However, Trading Standards has a remit to support consumers only and this does not include legal entities such as private limited companies. Therefore, an issue in the workplace where a machine is not correctly CE marked will be enforced by the HSE and not trading standards. The only time this issue comes to light is normally post accident, by which time the user/employer has already most likely breached PUWER and the HSE are faced with the comparatively low hanging fruit of prosecuting the user/employer for this breach as opposed to pursuing the now very distant manufacturer who may not even be within the UK borders.
A quick check of HSE prosecutions area against the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 for the CE Marking of Machines shows that only two prosecutions have been brought about and neither of them resulted in a fine (as of 23/05/2016). Looking further, we can see that prosecutions under the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, Section 6, (which cover the responsibilities of the manufacturer and designer of articles including machines) show that there have been 3 attempted prosecutions and on one of those being successful.
In conclusion, enforcement of the safe design and supply of industrial machinery is very thin. However, it is law all the same.
The responsible person can complete their own CE conformity assessment procedure in the following basic manner:
This CE conformity assessment procedure for CE marking machines should be woven in the to cycle of the machine in order that risk can be identified early and designed out by inherent safe design where feasible i.e. Design Risk Assessment (DRA).
The failure to consider risk reduction by design and complete proper DRAs may lead to further costs later on in the conformity assessment procedure.
To be clear, in the vast majority of cases you, the manufacturer, can CE mark your machine with no third party involvement. However, if you feel that you need support or perhaps you simply need to an independent expert to complete your due diligence for you then services, such as those supplied by Spiers, can used for this purpose.
Our services include:
The competency required for CE marking machines can be summarised as a combination of knowledge and experience with regard to:
There are a number of courses that touch on CE marking machines but Spiers provide the only accredited qualification in CE marking machines that addresses each and every EHSR in order that you are left in no doubt of the requirements of evidence for a safe machine.
Machinery Directive documentation
UK implementation of the Machinery Directive
UK government guidance on CE Marking
Health and Safety Executive on CE Marking Machinery
Guide to the Application of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (Edition 2.1)