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.