Retained fastenings for fixed guards

If you are building machinery that will be CE marked or is subject to the EU Machinery Directive, you need to read this article at

This article reviews some of the retained fastenings that are available for use on fixed machine guards, as required by the new Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and the guarding standard EN 953:1997+A1:2009.

One of the changes in the new Machinery Directive is that the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (, fixed guards), states: “fixing systems must remain attached to the guards or machinery when the guards are removed.” This new requirement has also been added to the amended EN 953.

Various types of retained fastening – such as captive screws and quarter-turn fasteners – are available, but machine builders need to specify these with care if they are to find the optimum combination of purchase cost, installation cost and ease of use. Also bear in mind the requirement that “fixed guards must be fixed by systems that can be opened or removed only with tools.” What follows is a summary of some of the products and suppliers operating in this field.