New guide to EN ISO 13849, safety control systems for machinery

30 October 2019

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New guide to EN ISO 13849, safety control systems for machineryDecoding EN ISO 13849: Designers Guide to Safety Control Systems for Machinery is a new book written by Robin J Carver, a qualified safety systems engineer and a Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner with decades of experience in the design, controlling and assessment of industrial machines.

In the introduction, Robin writes: "EN ISO 13849 'Safety of machinery - Safety-related parts of control systems' was born in 2006. It was a difficult birth and it is still a difficult child!" His new book sets out to make sense of what he describes as a 'cluttered and chaotic' standard, giving readers something that is workable and practical.

Intended to benefit designers and manufacturers of machines, machine assemblies and integrated machine systems, 'Decoding EN ISO 13849' is written in plain English and provides methods for assessing the required levels of reliability, within the frameworks set by EN ISO 13849. Task-by-task guidance will help different groups of readers: Machinery Designers, Control System Designers and Validators. Relevant and practical guidance has been tailored and organised for successful compliance with EN ISO 13849. The goal is Total Safety Management of machinery.

Why the book and why now?

Much has changed in the world of machinery controls since the late 1990s and onward into the formative years of the second millennium. The Machinery Directive was introduced in Europe and has since been re-cast on several occasions. The supporting harmonised standards have been radically overhauled, opening the door to the use of electronic and programmable 'black box' type controls in safety-related parts of control systems. The 'art form' standard for Safety Control Systems, EN 954-1, which was based on basic engineering structures or 'Categories', has given way to the quantitative approach of EN ISO 13849 and, with it, a myriad of complications. The 'new kids on the block' turned what was simply an 'afterthought' into an essential science. However, despite its complications, EN ISO 13849 has finally made the long-awaited link between risk and system reliability.

Decoding EN ISO 13849 will help machine and control system designers to understand and apply the standard. Robin Carver writes: "Maybe, it will pass on some of the experience and knowledge the author has gained over many years of asking, reading, asking, listening and, most importantly, DOING."

Jon Severn, Editor of, comments: "This is the third book Robin Carver has produced in a relatively short space of time. 'Decoding EN ISO 13849' is probably the most in-depth and best laid out of the three, with a design that really gets the messages across as clearly as possible. I particularly like the way the book has sections targeted at specific types of people, as it enables readers to focus on what is important for them in performing their roles.

"Large organisations will (one would hope!) already have procedures in place to manage the design and validation of safety-related control systems. However, many small and medium-sized enterprises are likely to find this book extremely useful - and worth every penny."

Follow the link for more information and to order a copy of Decoding EN ISO 13849 from Amazon.

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