Machine Safety Controls

Machinery safety has come a long way since the first directive was issued in 1989 and along with the change in technological advances in machinery controls by the manufacturers of control systems, likewise there has been a significant advancement in the area of harmonised standards related to machinery safety.

When we originally considered machinery safety controls our first thoughts back then were to guarding, emergency stops, gate interlocks and other ancillary controls which we identified the need for through risk assessments, again based upon older bench marking standards such as EN 1050, which was deemed to be and indeed was, sufficient for the purposes we employed the safe guards to protect.

Since then, technology has advanced to such an extent that the operating functions of machinery have become more automated and componentry faster in action, which requires an equivalent and corresponding safety related control system(s), identified through an adequate type or types of risk assessment.

Experience has shown us that machinery related to manufacturing or he processing industry, can better be described as assemblies of machines, since the manufacturing “package” consists of a small to medium number of machines, coupled together to create a constructive whole.

ncludes: –

  • Drawings
  • Measurements
  • Photographs
  • Samples (dust, fluids etc.)
  • Defective Components
  • Witness Statements
  • Gardai Sketches etc


Control Phylosophy

When we discuss safety controls, our first thoughts turn to guards or emergency stops, perhaps even to safety light curtains or light sensors, which would have been correct for around the time the first machinery directive was introduced in 1989, however, two amended Directives and into three decades later, we must now consider safety controls …

Guard Interlocks

An interlocking device is a mechanical, electrical or other type of device, the purpose of which is to prevent the operation of the hazardous machine functions under specified conditions, normally when a guard door remains open. interlocks are an integral component of the safety related control function and where there are more than one  than one …

Light Curtains

All forms of evidence is crucial to accident investigation, therefore the forensic engineer must be thorough in his/her approach to obtaining such evidence. In piecing the factors together they must remain objective in their task and present the findings in a clear and unambiguous manner. In some cases the results of the investigation may not …

Safety Distances

There are principally three different courts that are involved with litigation, i.e. personal injury cases, namely: – * District Court * Circuit Court * High Court There are of course other venues available to potential or aggrieved litigants or defendants that require more concentrated applications, for example the Supreme Court or the European Court of …

Special Protective Devices

Special Protective Devices are components or assemblies, that work in conjuction or addition with guards. Annex 1 of Council Directive 2006/42/EC and Schedule 1 of the European Communities (Machinery) Regulations 2008 [SI 407 of 2008}, set out the requirements for Special Protective devices, Such devices can include, interlocking switches, used with movable type guard doors, …