Machinery Safety 101

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.

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