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The Machinery Directive saga continues

The list of harmonised standards under the new Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities but crucial standards have been omitted –which potentially not only causes further confusion but could have serious consequences for machine builders.

Peter Still, industry standards manager at Schneider Electric

Peter Still, industry standards manager at Schneider Electric, said: "The European Commission has omitted vital standards – in particular EN 954-1, which only last week was given an extended period of presumption of conformity, however it fails to appear in the list. Other even more important standards missed include EN 60204-1, EN 61496-1 and EN 60947-5-5.

"With regards to EN 954-1 continuing into 2010, this wasn't an ideal time to make this decision. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of prolonging its use, the announcement needed to be made several months ago, to allow machine builders some certainty about which standards could be used under the new Machinery Directive. The omission of these standards from the Official Journal leaves machine builders, as well as those that have to enforce the Directive, in a state of confusion.

"My advice for any one involved in machine building would be to use the old standards as guidance, but with no presumptions available they must carefully check the wording of the essential health and safety requirements of the directive to ensure they conform. With these vital standards missing from the list, machine builders need to know that their declaration of conformity is based on their own judgement.

"Enquiries have been instigated to try and resolve this situation and any conclusions will be publicised as soon as they are known."

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