Machine Safety Check-list


Does my machine fully comply with current safety regulations? Are the machine’s operators safe while using it? Do have I all the necessary documentation to certify the safety of my machine?

Being able to positively answer to these and many other questions concerning the safety of machines and systems must be the primary goal of every company. Being sure to comply with the industrial safety regulations allows to reduce/eliminate the risks and dangers related to machinery, as well as correctly operate within the EU.

A first check can be independently made using the following machine safety check list that collects and summarizes the main characteristics that a safe machine should respect. To specifically get deeper in the regulations it is necessary to consult the Directive 2006/42/CE or to rely on a competent and certified partner that can carry out in-depth analysis and verification of compliance with the minimum safety requirements.

Documents checks

Do have I all the necessary documentation to certify the complete safety of the machinery?

In this first phase of analysis it is necessary to verify the correct drafting of the EC Declaration of Conformity and the correct affixing of the CE marking, which must necessarily be visible, legible, indelible and show the following indications:

  • company name and full address of the manufacturer
  • designation of the machine
  • correct proportions of the mark
  • designation of the series and type
  • year of construction
  • additional information: voltage, frequency, power, …

To correctly operate within the EU is essential to have the general instructions of use in Italian language, or a translation, with the documentation attesting the assessment and reduction of risks related to the machine.

Principi-di-integrazione-della-sicurezza industriale

Safety integrations’ principles

Did I identify and estimate the dangers related to the use of the machine?

Each individual machine is characterized by different operational functions, it is good practice to identify, within a reasonably foreseeable extent, how an operator could use the machine incorrectly, finding himself in a potential dangerous situation.

The necessary solutions for the safety integration must follow specific steps in order to:

  1. Eliminate or reduce the risks as much as possible
  2. Apply necessary measures against non-eliminable risks
  3. Inform the operators about the residual risks due to the incomplete effectiveness of the protection measures adopted

(the steps to follow are deliberately numbered and ordered according to the regulations)

Systems and control devices

Are the systems and control devices reliable and safe?

Ensuring an excellent machine’s usability is already synonymous of safety: preventing the machine from turning on or operates unexpectedly and independently, guarantee the safety protection of the operators. The machine’s controls systems must be visible and understandable to simplify the daily routine in any case.

An additional command device that assumes primary importance when it comes to industrial safety is the emergency shutdown, it should block all components in case of need, and always remain easily accessible and identifiable.


Mechanical hazards

Are there any mechanical/constructive hazards that I have not considered yet?

The machinery under examination should not present risks of breakage during operation due, for example, to mechanical stresses: the stability of the machine in any working situation should be 100% guaranteed. Should there be dangers due to the possible projection of objects during operation, these should necessarily be eliminated.

To define and identify a mechanical risk you could refer to kinetic energy (the energy that a body possesses for the movement it has or is receiving) directly attributable to the movement of a machine that could cause an accident.

Repairs and related characteristics

Did I correctly identify and install the appropriate repairs?

If the machinery under analysis has guards (both fixed and mobile) to effectively protect operators from any danger, it is advisable to check their compliance with the general requirements about the design and construction.

An appropriate analysis should lead to verify:

  • the correct compliance with the criteria for the selection of guards
  • compliance with safety distances
  • compatibility with work processes
  • the effectiveness of the guards, avoiding that these are obsolete or easily removable

Risks due to other energy sources

Did I consider all the sources of energy that could cause damage?

Essential requirement for safety and health protection related to the design and construction of machines is to consider the risks due to other hazards/sources of energy.

The objectives and obligations to be applied to the machines are governed by the Machinery Directive 2006/42 / EC (Annex I – Part 4): which indicates how to build and equip a machine in order to prevent all risks that may derive from energy sources such as electricity, extreme temperatures, static energy, radiation, fires and explosions, etc.


Machine’s Maintenance

Can the mainteners safetely work on the machine?

Maintenance operations on a machine that does not meet safety requirements could lead to unpleasant consequences, both for operators and manufacturers. It is therefore necessary to verify that the machinery is totally safe even during the repair or replacement of parts. The operators don’t have to be exposed to particular hazards, they need to work in the simplest and safest way.

The complete isolation from the energy sources identified in the previous chapter become essential for every type of work on the machinery, in order to avoid the risk of “energy release” by isolating the installed devices.