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 The EU originally announced that this standard was to be withdrawn on 31-Dec-09, being replaced by EN ISO 13849 – 1.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A later announcement from the European Commission repealed the withdrawal of EN 954 – 1, extending its use until 31-Dec-12. This announcement was itself withdrawn.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 Currently, EN 954 – 1 will be withdrawn on 31-Dec-09 and will be replaced by EN ISO 13849 – 1, UNLESS this decision is again reversed by the EC in consultation with the EC Machinery Working Group.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 MachineBuilding.net.