Machinery Safety 101

Instructions for Use – the New ISO 20607

Instruc­tions are one of the basic items that users expect to get when they pur­chase a product, and yet these import­ant doc­u­ments are often poorly writ­ten, badly trans­lated, and incom­plete. Key product fea­tures are badly described, and inform­a­tion on fea­tures, set­tings and haz­ards may be absent. All of this des­pite the fact that the min­im­um require­ments for instruc­tion manu­als have been defined in the machinery stand­ards since at least the early 1990’s. A way to avoid cre­at­ing poor manu­als was needed.

Because inform­a­tion for use is part of the Hier­archy of Con­trols, ISO 12100 and oth­er stand­ards have provided gen­er­al guid­ance on the con­tent of machinery manu­als, but nev­er on the design of the manu­al itself. ISO and IEC cre­ated a joint pro­ject to devel­op a com­mon stand­ard for manu­als and instruc­tions for use. Mem­bers from ISO/TC 10, Tech­nic­al draw­ings, product defin­i­tions and related doc­u­ment­a­tion and IEC/TC 3,  Doc­u­ment­a­tion and graph­ic­al sym­bols worked on cre­at­ing IEC 62079.

In 2001, IEC pub­lished IEC 62079, Pre­par­a­tion of instruc­tions – Struc­tur­ing, con­tent and present­a­tion. This stand­ard was the begin­ning of the efforts to cre­ate a com­mon design require­ment for the instruc­tions provided by product man­u­fac­tur­ers to users. IEC 62079 was with­drawn and repub­lished as IEC 82079 – 1, Pre­par­a­tion of instruc­tions for use – Struc­tur­ing, con­tent and present­a­tion – Part 1: Gen­er­al prin­ciples and detailed require­ments. The second edi­tion of this stand­ard was pub­lished in 2019.

In 2014, ISO/TC 199 star­ted work on a stand­ard focused on the needs of machine build­ers and users. The ori­gin of this stand­ard comes from Europe, with con­sid­er­a­tion of the EU Machinery Dir­ect­ive, EN 415 – 3, ISO 10218, and a seed doc­u­ment from the Neth­er­lands. The res­ult­ing stand­ard, ISO 20607, Safety of machinery — Instruc­tion hand­book — Gen­er­al draft­ing prin­ciples has just com­pleted the final stage of review (FDIS) and is in the pro­cess of pub­lic­a­tion. The doc­u­ment is sched­uled for pub­lic­a­tion in June 2019.

What’s in ISO 20607?

An Instruction manual

Since you are read­ing this post, you will want to know what this new stand­ard is about. Unfor­tu­nately, I can­’t give you too much inform­a­tion about the con­tent of the stand­ard due to con­fid­en­ti­al­ity oblig­a­tions placed on expert mem­bers by ISO, but I can tell you a little bit about what’s inside. Let’s have a look at the scope of the document.

1 Scope

This doc­u­ment spe­cifies require­ments for the machine man­u­fac­turer for pre­par­a­tion of the safety-rel­ev­ant parts of an instruc­tion hand­book for machinery.

This doc­u­ment:

— provides fur­ther spe­cific­a­tions to the gen­er­al require­ments on inform­a­tion for use giv­en in ISO 12100:2010, 6.4.5; and

— deals with the safety-related con­tent, the cor­res­pond­ing struc­ture and present­a­tion of the instruc­tion hand­book, tak­ing into account all phases of the life cycle of the machine.

NOTE 1 The strategy for risk reduc­tion at the machine is giv­en in ISO 12100:2010, Clause 6, and includes inher­ently safe design meas­ures, safe­guard­ing and com­ple­ment­ary risk reduc­tion meas­ures as well as inform­a­tion for use.

NOTE 2 Annex A con­tains a cor­res­pond­ence table between ISO 12100:2010, 6.4, and this document.

NOTE 3 Inform­a­tion for con­cep­tion and pre­par­a­tion of instruc­tions in gen­er­al is avail­able in IEC/IEEE 82079 – 1.

This doc­u­ment estab­lishes the prin­ciples which are indis­pens­able to provide inform­a­tion on resid­ual risks.

This doc­u­ment does not address require­ments for declar­a­tion of noise and vibra­tion emissions.

This doc­u­ment is not applic­able to machinery man­u­fac­tured before the date of its publication.

As you can see, the stand­ard builds upon ISO 12100 and IEC 82079 – 1, with the focus on machinery. 

Table of Contents

Here’s the Table of Con­tents. I’m leav­ing out the Scope, Norm­at­ive Ref­er­ences and Terms and Defin­i­tions, as those appear in every standard.

4 Prin­ciples and gen­er­al information

4.1 Gen­er­al

4.2 Tar­get group for the instruc­tion handbook

4.3 Inform­a­tion needs

4.4 Com­pre­hens­ible ter­min­o­logy and wording

4.5 Present­a­tion of the instruc­tion handbook

4.6 Inform­a­tion from com­pon­ent or sub­sys­tem suppliers

4.7 Legib­il­ity

4.8 Warn­ings, haz­ard and safety sym­bols used in the instruc­tion handbook

4.9 Struc­tur­ing

4.10 Resid­ual risks

4.10.1 Gen­er­al

4.10.2 Sig­nals and warn­ing devices provided with the machine

4.11 IT secur­ity vulnerabilities

5 Con­tent and struc­ture of the instruc­tion handbook

5.1 Gen­er­al

5.2 Instruc­tion hand­book content

5.2.1 Basic parts of an intro­duc­tion handbook

5.2.2 Safety

5.2.3 Machine overview

5.2.4 Trans­port­a­tion, hand­ling and storage

5.2.5 Assembly, install­a­tion and commissioning

5.2.6 Ori­gin­al equip­ment man­u­fac­turer settings

5.2.7 Oper­a­tion

5.2.8 Product or capa­city changeover

5.2.9 Inspec­tion, test­ing and maintenance

5.2.10 Clean­ing and sanitizing

5.2.11 Fault finding/troubleshooting and repair

5.2.12 Dis­mant­ling, dis­abling and scrapping

5.2.13 Doc­u­ments and drawings

5.2.14 Index

5.2.15 Gloss­ary

5.2.16 Annexes

6 Lan­guage and formulation/style guide

6.1 Gen­er­al

6.2 Lan­guage version(s)

6.3 For­mu­la­tion guid­ance for instructions

6.4 Simple word­ing for instructions

6.5 Warn­ings

7 Forms of publication

Annex A (inform­at­ive) Cor­res­pond­ence between ISO 12100:2010, 6.4, and this document

Annex B (inform­at­ive) Present­a­tion and formatting

Annex C (inform­at­ive) Recom­mend­a­tions for writ­ing instructions

Annex ZA (inform­at­ive) Rela­tion­ship between this European Stand­ard and the essen­tial require­ments of Dir­ect­ive 2006/42/EC aimed to be covered

As you can see, the stand­ard cov­ers the design and con­tent of machinery manu­als quite thor­oughly. If you are a tech­nic­al writer or man­age the tech­nic­al writ­ing depart­ment for a machine build­er, you should be using this stand­ard. There are some addi­tion­al tech­nic­al writ­ing stand­ards that you could con­sider, like ANSI Z535.6, Amer­ic­an Nation­al Stand­ard for Product Safety Inform­a­tion in Product Manu­als, Instruc­tions, and Oth­er Col­lat­er­al Mater­i­als, (Down­load ANSI stand­ards) which provides excel­lent guid­ance on integ­rat­ing haz­ard warn­ings into instruc­tions, and of course, the require­ments of the rel­ev­ant type C stand­ard for your product.

If you’ve got ques­tions or would like more inform­a­tion on ISO 20607, please get in touch. You can leave a com­ment below or email me.

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