Review: CE Marking and PUWER machinery safety workshop
Pilz Automation Ltd
Posted to News on 15th Dec 2015, 12:35

Review: CE Marking and PUWER machinery safety workshop

On 1 December 2015 Spiers Engineering Safety hosted a CE marking and PUWER machinery safety workshop attended by around 20 engineers and managers, plus Jon Severn the editor of, who has written this review.

Review: CE Marking and PUWER machinery safety workshop

Following coffee and pastries, the workshop started with a show of hands to establish the level of knowledge among the attendees; this enabled Warren Spiers to pitch the workshop at the right level, rather than just working his way through a set of presentation slides. In addition, attendees were asked what they wanted to get out of the day so the relevant points could be addressed as the day unfolded.

Broadly speaking, the workshop covered the following topics:

  • The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and how it relates to the UK's Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations
  • PUWER (the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations)
  • Other European Directives that machine builders and users may need to be aware of (eg ATEX, Pressure Equipment Directive, Low-Voltage Directive, EMC Directive)
  • Who is responsible under the Machinery Directive and PUWER
  • Standards for machinery safety and electrical safety
  • Design risk assessments
  • Modifications and upgrades of existing machinery
  • Contents of the Machinery Directive Technical File, Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and Declaration of Incorporation (DoI)
  • Planning and managing the PUWER inspection process

Throughout the day the workshop was very interactive, with plenty of questions from attendees - all of which were answered by either Warren Spiers or Mike Armstrong, another Director of Spiers Engineering Safety. They clearly demonstrated their in-depth knowledge of the machinery safety standards and, just as importantly, a real understanding of the standards' implications and their real-world application.

Is it safe?

As an example of the insight provided, Warren Spiers explained that machine designers need to evaluate hazards when conducting a design risk assessment - and the same is true for people undertaking PUWER assessments. Surprisingly there is very little information about what forces are tolerable when a human comes into contact with parts of a machine, even though it can make a substantial difference to whether or not safeguards are required. However, Warren Spiers pointed out that the recently published standard ISO 415-10, Safety of packaging machines. General Requirements, contains such information and this will be of use to a great many people, not just those working on packaging machines.

Attendees were also encouraged to take a look at the Spiers Engineering Safety website because this contains numerous technical articles and guides relating to machinery safety - and the content is being updated and expanded continually.

Another useful discussion related to 'deviations' - in other words, what a machine builder should do if a machine has to deviate from the requirements in a harmonised standard, whether for functional reasons or because a customer insists on it for whatever reason.

Further helpful discussions relating to points that might not normally be covered in CE marking and PUWER training sessions included:

  • What to do about CE marking if a machine is undergoing extended trials at a customer site
  • Lifting operations on machinery (eg if a machine incorporates a bin lift)
  • What to do if a machine has to be upgraded following a PUWER inspection
  • Why special attention should be paid when conducting PUWER inspections on machines over 20 years old

Subjects such as machinery safety directives, regulations and standards can be seen as important but dull, yet Warren Spiers kept the presentations lively and interactive, holding the interest of attendees until the end. Furthermore, everyone was able to benefit from Warren Spiers' genuine insight, borne out of an in-depth knowledge of the directives, regulations and standards, together with many years' experience with machines at all stages from concept through detailed design to production, commissioning and, of course, in-service machines requiring PUWER inspections.

Spiers Engineering Safety will be hosting a number of workshops and webinars throughout 2016. On the basis of the workshop attended on 1 December 2015, these are highly recommended. A forthcoming machinery safety workshop is:

  • CE Marking, PUWER '98 and Functional Safety. 3 February, at Greggs Bakery of Gosforth, Newcastle
  • CE Marking, PUWER '98 and Machine Safety. 16 March, at Ramada Hotel, Sutton Coldfield, North Birmingham
  • CE Marking, PUWER '98 and Functional Safety. 6 April, at Novotel Hotel, Manchester

Webinars are scheduled as follows:

  • CE Marking - Self-certification, notified bodies and expert third parties. What is the difference and how to choose what is right for you? 17 February, 10:00-16:00
  • CE Marking - How do I complete a machine design risk assessment? 17 March, 10:00-16:00
  • PUWER Inspection and Risk Assessment - PUWER Compliance Management and Planning. What arrangements do you need in place? 25 April, 10:00-16:00

Spiers Group

12 Victoria Road
B79 7HL

+44 (0)2475 422624

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