Canada Adopts ISO 13857 – Safety Distances

Safety Distances

ISO 13857 2008, Figure 2 - Safety Distance for reaching over a protective structure
ISO 13857 2008, Figure 2 – Reaching Over Protective Structure

As part of the work on the 3rd Edition of CSA Z432, Canada has decided to adopt ISO 13857 as CSA Z13857. The standard is to be adopted without technical deviations.

Why ISO 13857?

CSA Z432 has long had portions of the information in ISO 13857 in its annexes – Annex C has tables for reaching through openings and reaching over structures, much like the one above, that users have found useful over the years. Unfortunately, these tables have also proved a bit confusing, as they are somewhat different than CSA Z432 Table 3. While neither set of safe-distance values is less safe, the values in Table 3 are very similar to those used in the USA, which was the original source for that information.

When Z432 was first being developed in the late 1980’s, most machinery was coming in from the US, so harmonisation with US OSHA guidelines was more important than harmonising internationally. Today, import of machinery from the EU is common, and Canadian export of machinery around the world is part of doing business. CSA’s Safety of Machinery Technical Committee decided to help manufacturers and importers by harmonising Canada’s standards with the International Standards by adopting ISO 13857 as a Canadian Standard.

Public Review

If you are interested in reviewing and  commenting on this adoption, please visit the CSA Public Review Page for the standard. Comments close 13/07/2015.


Identifier: Z13857

Title: Safety of machinery — Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs (Adoption without deviations) (New Standard) Expiry date: 13/07/2015

This International Standard establishes values for safety distances in both industrial and non-industrial environments to prevent machinery hazard zones being reached. The safety distances are appropriate for protective structures. It also gives information about distances to impede free access by the lower limbs (see 4.3).