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Spiers PUWER Checklist – Short Guide for the PUWER Assessor
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Jan 2, 2015

This is a short PUWER inspection guide for the person actually tasked with doing the PUWER inspections and resulting risk assessment (PUWER Assessor). We have stripped out the jargon and legal bumph leaving only what is relevant to you as you look at the machine/work equipment. We have included examples, photos and even example PUWER risk assessments. Some aspects of the safe system of work (SSoW) which must be considered under PUWER have been removed as they are not applicable/practical to apply at the point of inspection. Some other arrangments should be made for these.

An Introduction to the Technical Construction File (TCF)
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Jan 7, 2015

What is the Technical Construction File (TCF)? The Technical Construction File (TCF), is required by the Machinery Directive and its contents are listed in ANNEX VII. The purpose of the technical file is to provide a means for the manufacturer to demonstrate the conformity of his product as well as to support market surveillance and enforcement activities.

Protective Devices & Emergency Stops – when should we test them?
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Feb 4, 2015

The Testing of Safety Related Systems (including emergency stops and protective devices) for a machine application is a subject that attracts a lot of navel gazing on a regular basis and we hear wonderful answers with even more wonderful justifications for them. For this reason we have written this article giving a proper method for determining the suitable manual test intervals based on current best practice borrowed from applicable EN standards.

Do I need to test interlocks, emergency stops and other protective devices?

In short, yes. This is a requirement under Regulation 5 of P...

Packaging Machines: Small, Medium and Large Sized Apertures
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

May 12, 2015

The safe reach distance required for openings in guards is well defined in BS EN 13857. However, some C type standards will make ammendments to these values. In this case, the BS EN 415 series (part 5) makes specific ammendments for reach distances and differentiates between small, medium and large openings.

Where there is insufficient space to achieve the reach distances in EN 13857 alternative reach distances are provided in a table in Annex B.


Comment: At Spiers we find it very strange that a C Type standard should license a machine designer to decide there is not enou...

EN 953 to be replaced by EN 14120 | Guarding Standard
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Sep 17, 2015

There is a new standard on the way. It updates the guidance on design and selection of guards for machinery and it is going to change the way you design and adapt guarding on your machines in the future.

Draft standard ISO 14120 Safety of machinery — Guards — General requirements for the design and construction of fixed and movable guards

This new guarding standard is expected to be published early next year. Once published, it is expected to be harmonised as a European standard EN ISO 14120; replacing EN 953 in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union and therefore provide...

BS EN 60204-1:2006+A1:2009 Electrical Safety of Machines
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Nov 16, 2015

Electrical Safety of Machines – A Guide to Documentation for the Technical File

This document has been produced by Spiers Engineering Safety as a guide to our clients for evidencing the design of electrical circuit. It summarises the design process implied by BS EN 60204-1 and can be used in conjunction with it. Compliance with this document DOES NOT GIVE A PRESUMPTION OF CONFORMITY as it is not a harmonised standard.


Post installation electrical safety tests shall be completed in all cases regardless of calculations made during the design of the system in order to ve...

Instruction Handbook: Safety Related Information for Assemblies of Machinery
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

May 16, 2016

Who likes writing manuals? Exactly.

So we should give some thought to what needs to be provided in a manual beforehand to avoid having to repeat the process in reverse further down the line.

Often a machine is in fact an assembly of smaller machines, whether they be standalone or machines in their own right, partly complete machines requiring assembly, safety components, or lifting accessories. The final machine assembly will inevitably include components declared to other directives such as LVD, EMCD etc. and then some parts which are not covered a CE marking directive at all.


Engineering Managers: Why is it so difficult to get control of machinery safety?
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Jun 9, 2016

John is an Engineering Manager. John, like most engineering managers, has huge responsibilities and not enough time or resources. He is stuck in the middle between the demands of PRODUCTION and those of SAFETY. If you’re like John, we know you have a lot on your plate.

John is responsible for a lot of stuff, that has no direct relation to production but the ‘production is king’ voice seems louder and more immediate than any others, so always seems to take precedence. John is responsible for ensuring that machines are, and continue to be, safe to operate. He relies heavily on his te...

What does it take to be a Machine Safety Engineer?
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

Dec 12, 2016

What attributes and skills do you need in order to be an effective machine safety engineer in any organisation? Warren Spiers of Spiers Engineering Safety explores the ins and outs of machine safety engineering.

Machine Safety, especially in the end-user manufacturing scenario, is all too often, not carried out very well. I have observed this to be true even in organisations who implement ‘traditional’ health and safety topics such as COSHH, manual handling, slips/trips/falls etc.

In nearly 20 years of working in a variety of roles and companies, it seems that in general terms thi...

Who is responsible for PUWER compliance?
Posted in Other Articles on Aug 17, 2022

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) have been in place since 1998, and before that, there were similar regulations passed into UK law in 1992. Both sets of regulations build upon the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

So why, in 2016, are there still so many accidents, fatalities, prosecutions and fines in the UK industry as a result on non-compliance with PUWER?

In my experience, in many workplaces, PUWER inspections are either not done at all, or done in a haphazard or incomplete manner.

Now, taking the gloves off for a moment, if we explore the r...

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