SAFETY IN THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Many important changes are going to be introduced in regulations on safety of machinery, starting from 2010. In practice several of these have already
had some impact since 2005 and 2006, when the overlap period began for Standards on safety-related machine control systems.
In particular, this concerns the crucial family of Standards under the umbrella of ISO 13849, and IEC 61508 which impacts safety of machinery especially
through IEC 62061. Thus, important statistical concepts derived from process safety and related, in varying degrees, to probability of dangerous
failure, are covered by machine safety, resulting in new classifications of safety-related control systems for machinery and protection devices. These
include PLs (Performance Levels, for ISO) and SILs (Safety Integrity Levels, for IEC). PL and SIL come next to and in many ways replace the now familiar
concept of Category featuring in the ‘old’ EN 954-1.
In 2008 IEC finished the second edition of IEC TS 62046, a specification providing guidelines on the use of safety sensors for machinery protection
This is a novelty the impact of which will be felt worldwide.
Looking nearer home in Europe, the new Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC will become effective starting from December 29, 2009 (without overlap), in
turn introducing significant novelties compared to 98/37/EC.
These and other developments are covered by the exacting and up-to-date introduction to this edition of our Safety Guide.