The European Commission (EC) has announced that BS EN 954-1 can be used to support compliance to the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC for a further three years, in spite of the introduction of new replacement standards.
BS EN 954-1 has long been followed for presumption of conformity to the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC. However, the two new standards ― BS EN ISO 13849-1 or BS EN 62061 ― that have been developed were set to replace BS EN 954-1 on December 29 2009, and would have been the only control system standards accepted under the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This change has been widely publicised, with machine builders and control system suppliers having invested time and money in preparing to follow the new standards.
Given that some organisations have found it difficult to prepare for the change, the deadline for withdrawal of the presumption of conformity for EN 954-1 has recently been extended to 2012. This means that machine builders can now continue using the old standard, BS EN 954-1, for another three years, potentially delaying advancements in machine safety.
Peter Still, industry standards manager at Schneider Electric, comments: “BS EN 954-1 is well understood and is seen as simple to use, but is not rigorous enough to ensure sufficient safety integrity in many modern and complex machines. Complying with the new standards may be more time consuming, but it can achieve greater levels of safety throughout the machine’s life.
“At Schneider Electric we are fully supportive of the new directive. We have therefore invested in a product range that helps meet the new standards and have made our functional safety data visible to help with compliance. Despite the deadline extension, it is particularly important that machine builders start complying with the two new standards as soon as possible, to ensure they are working to the highest level of safety. ”