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Overview of basic standards (A+B standards)

The basis for plant and machinery safety

Basic standards (A+B standards)

Standards are agreements between different interest groups (manufacturers, consumers, notified bodies, health and safety authorities and governments). They describe the state of the art at the time they are produced. Depending on the application site of the machine or product, various statutory regulations may apply, making it necessary to apply various standards. Selecting correctly helps the machine manufacturer to comply with statutory requirements.

Basic standards (A and B standards) contain essential information on design, strategy and operation - for the safety of plant and machinery.

The most important generic standards / A and B standards:

Safe design (mechanics) EN ISO 12100
Choice of safeguards  

Fixed guards (safety fences, barriers, covers)

EN 953, EN ISO 14119

Movable guards (Interlocking of safety gates, etc.)

EN 953, EN ISO 14119
Unexpected (re)start EN 1037
Protective devices (light grids, light beam devices, scanners, pressure-sensitive mats, etc.) EN 1760-3, EN 61496
Two-hand control devices EN ISO 13855, EN 574
Adjustable guards restricting access EN 953
Emergency stop/emergency off EN ISO 13850
Effectiveness of safeguard  
Safety distances (protection of upper/lower limbs) EN ISO 13857
Minimum distances (protection against crushing of body parts) EN 349
Access to machinery EN 547-1/-3
Positioning of safeguards EN ISO 13855
Safe design  
Mechanics EN ISO 12100, EN ISO 13849-1, EN / IEC 62061
Pneumatic equipment EN ISO 4414
Hydraulic equipment EN ISO 4413
Electrical equipment EN 60204-1, EN 60947-1/-8, BGVA3


Safeguards are necessary to provide operators with as much protection as possible from hazards that may arise during machine operation. It is the duty of the manufacturer to select an appropriate safeguard. This must neither increase the risk nor obstruct work on the machine. It's in the manufacturer's interests to provide precise justification for any decision not to equip moving parts with safeguards.

There are a vast number of regulations that deal with safeguards on machinery. A large number of these are summarised in the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.



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