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Machinery placed on the market must meet essential health and safety requirements to ensure a high level of protection of the health and safety of persons and, where applicable, domestic animals, property and the environment.

Safety requirements for machinery

The machinery must be designed and constructed in such a way as to prevent abnormal use if such use would involve a risk. Where appropriate, the instructions must warn the user of uses of the machinery which have been shown by experience to be possible and for which the machinery should not be used. The machinery must be supplied with all the special equipment and accessories essential for its safe adjustment, maintenance and use.

The term 'machinery' means:

  • an assembly, equipped or intended to be equipped with a propulsion system which does not directly use human or animal power, consisting of connected parts or components, at least one of which is movable, and which are linked for a specific use;
  • an assembly lacking only components for connection to a location or to sources of energy and motion;
  • an assembly ready to be installed and capable of functioning as such only when installed on a means of transport or in a building or structure;
  • assemblies of machinery or partly completed machinery which, in order to achieve the same objective, are arranged and controlled so as to function as a connected whole;
  • an assembly of connected parts or components, at least one of which is movable, which are joined for the purpose of lifting loads and whose sole source of energy is the direct application of human power.

In selecting the most appropriate means of ensuring safety, the manufacturer or his authorised representative must apply the following principles, in the order indicated: 

  • elimination or minimisation of risk, for which safe design and construction of the machinery is essential;
  • taking the necessary precautions in respect of risks which cannot be eliminated;
  • informing users of the residual risks due to shortcomings in the protective measures taken, indicating the requirements for specific training and identifying the need for the provision of personal protective equipment.