Systematic risk evaluation: a legal requirement of the EU machine directive
For the first time the EU Directive on Machines has set up a legal requirement for the machine producer to establish a systematic hazard analysis and a risk evaluation, and to build his machines according to the findings of the analysis. The results have to be included in the technical documentation to be controlled by the state authorities in the case of failures and damage. The declaration of conformance to EU Directives may not be issued without fulfilling this requirement. EN 1050, issued in 1996, contains as a harmonized European standard the accepted general instruction to carry out such risk evaluation. Any standard cannot be complete and identify all possible causes of failure and damage, so it has to be supplemented by the result of product observation over a sufficient long period, e.g. 5-15 years. This will lead to amendment of the product-specific results and the influence the conditions of use in a manner that never can be included in any standardized check-list.