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  
General principles for design — Risk assessment and risk reduction

EN ISO 12100

Choice of safeguards


Fixed and movable guards (safety fences, barriers, covers)

EN ISO 14120

Interlocking devices associated with guards (interlocking of safety gates, etc.)

EN ISO 14119
Prevention of
unexpected start-up
EN ISO 14118
Protective devices (light grids, light beam devices, scanners, pressure-sensitive mats, etc.)

EN ISO 13856-1/-2/-3
EN 61496-1

Two-hand control devices EN ISO 13851
Adjustable safeguards that restrict access Fixed and movable guards EN ISO 14120
Emergency stop EN ISO 13850
Additional protective measures - safety of machinery  
Safety distances (protection of upper/lower limbs) EN ISO 13857
Minimum gaps to avoid crushing of parts of the human body EN ISO 13854
Human body measurements, access into machinery, access openings, anthropometric data EN 547-1/-2/-3
Positioning of safeguards with respect to approach speeds EN ISO 13855
Functional safety and safety-related requirements  
Safety-related parts of control systems EN ISO 12100, EN ISO 13849-1, EN / IEC 62061
Safety-related requirement of pneumatics EN ISO 4414
Safety-related requirement of hydraulics EN ISO 4413
Electrical equipment EN 60204-1, EN 60947-5 series, DGUV regulation 3


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.



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