The safety standards for machinery and industrial plants are encoded within the European Union by different directives such as (in a non-exhaustive list) the: Machinery Directive, Low Voltage Directive, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive, Atex Directive or Pressure Equipment Directive.
These European directives have legislative cogency in the different countries of the UE thanks to the so-called “transposition” process that empower every single State to issue national laws with the same content of the European texts. These laws are mandatory, they set safety objectives focusing on various requirements that must be met by machines and plants’ manufacturers / users.
The technical standards are part of the private law and therefore not compulsory, they provide technical solutions to implement technological measures to meet the legislative requirements.
CE marking is a mandatory certification of conformity for all those products governed by European Directives and intended for the Community market, it is an obligation to be respected for being released within the European Community. The law pursues anyone who does not apply the CE mark, both on machines and products included in the directives with the obligation of CE Marking.
Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC fully sets out the fields of application, the procedures to be followed and the essential health and safety requirements to be respected for designing and constructing the machines.