Safety Hub

Why Machine Safety?

Machinery is meant to produce goods effectively and efficiently. When people started inventing machinery, safety was no consideration. Hand mills did no more than inflict minor bruises, but already the donkey-turned grain mill had an upper mill stone weighing hundreds of kilos and could cause serious injury, such as loss of fingers and hands.

Preventing accidents in the workplace

With the onset of industrialization, the number of accidents soared. Preventing them was soon discovered to be both an ethical issue and an economic factor. Accidents are expensive in both human suffering and cost.

However, economic concerns and safety precautions are often at odds because safety measures add cost that does not increase the efficiency of production. The conflict triangle below illustrates what machinery safety is all about: saving the health of people must always remain more important than cost and production efficiency. Axelent endeavours to help machinery designers and operating companies to keep safety on top.

conflict triangle

Key roles and rules

The key stakeholders in machinery safety are the manufacturers and the operating companies.

Manufacturers are obligated to provide machinery that is technically safe to the extent possible. In the European Union, a detailed set of rules for machinery safety has been published in the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC published in 2006 and last amended in 2009. It is mandatory and the outward sign of conformity is the CE Mark.

Operating companies are obligated to keep machinery in a safe condition and ensure all safety rules set by state authorities and the manufacturer are adhered to. Safe use of machinery is also governed by a European law, the so called "Work Equipment Directive" 2009/104/EC.

Matthias Schulz

Specialist security technology, Germany

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