Machinery Safety 101

More flip-flopping on EN 954 – 1?

In recent posts I’ve been dis­cuss­ing the changes in the use of EN 954 – 1, Safety of Machinery – Safety Related Parts of Con­trol Sys­tems. Part 1: Gen­er­al Prin­ciples for Design. The EU ori­gin­ally announced that this stand­ard was to be with­drawn on 31-Dec-09, being replaced by EN ISO 13849 – 1. As you may know, there are sig­ni­fic­ant dif­fer­ences in these two standards.

A later announce­ment from the European Com­mis­sion repealed the with­draw­al of EN 954 – 1, extend­ing its use until 31-Dec-12. This announce­ment was itself withdrawn.

So where do we stand today? Cur­rently, EN 954 – 1 will be with­drawn on 31-Dec-09 and will be replaced by EN ISO 13849 – 1, UNLESS this decision is again reversed by the EC in con­sulta­tion with the EC Machinery Work­ing Group. A meet­ing is planned for 7/8‑­Dec-09 to dis­cuss this situ­ation and to resolve the confusion.

As a machine build­er, there is only one prudent course of action – imple­ment EN ISO 13849 – 1 in your designs. If the decision remains as it cur­rently stands, then your products will con­form to the require­ments on 31-Dec-09 and you will be able to con­tin­ue to ship product to the EU. If the decision is reversed by the EC and EN 954 – 1 remains in use until 2012, then you are three years ahead of the require­ment and should be using that to full advant­age in your mar­ket­ing and sales efforts.

My friend Jon Severn has a post related to this on his blog at

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