Risk assessment and risk reduction

The Machinery Directive is the comprehensive European law that safeguards users from hazards of mechanical equipment.  The Directive along with harmonized Euro Norm standards provides the safety rules and requirements, risk assessment procedures and methods, and it defines the obligations of manufacturers to ensure the safety of their equipment. 

The Machinery Directive tells manufacturers to evaluate their products for all potential hazards, such as

  • Mechanical movements that present hazards of entanglement or crushing
  • Electrical hazards (per the Low Voltage Directive)
  • Thermal hazards from contact with hot (or cold) parts of the equipment 
  • Tip or falling hazards
  • Sharp elements of the machinery
  • Audible noise that can damage hearing or create annoyance
  • Hazards associated with bright or intense light

Manufacturers are obligated to systematically review all aspects of their machine and identify potential hazards.  The risk assessment should cover the life of the product including shipping, installation, provisioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning. 

Once all hazards have been identified and assigned a severity and likelihood “risk priority number”, the manufacturer has to address the hazard by 

  • Redesigning the equipment to eliminate the hazard. 
  • Configuring guards or lockouts to restrict access to the hazard
  • Provide warnings and other information to prevent harm to users 

At Elite, we provide the risk assessment evaluation then work with our clients to guide the completion of the project. Elite experts will analyze and document the relevant safety issues and work with the client to resolve the safety concerns through redesign, guards, safety interlocks, or warnings.