EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 – Are We Ready By December 2011?

Some companies and the machine safety folks are having difficulty meeting the new EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 requirements by the end of this year. So, my question remains, ARE WE READY? SIL (safety integrity level) and Cat (Category) are fading out; SIL and PL (Performance Level) are becoming the new basis for machine guarding and hazard mitigation.


JB Titus, CFSESome companies and the machine safety folks are having difficulty meeting the new EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 requirements by the end of this year. Various segments of industry are moving forward to adopt and comply with this safety standard. Compliance with 13849-1 promises improved safety and possible opportunities to properly apply current technologies in ways that improve machine performance, efficiency, and plant productivity.

     So, my question remains, ARE WE READY?


Machinery Directive requirements for functional safety - percentage currently compliant, Control Engineering, VDC Research survey     Surveys suggest different answers to this question. Last April Control Engineering completed a Webex survey regarding the adoption of EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061. Respondents indicated that 81% expect to comply by the end of this year. However, the respondents also indicated that 80% needed tools or outside assistance to meet this goal. The other 20% indicated that they would comply using in-house resources. On the other hand, at various trade shows, attendees are asked for a show of hands regarding the same compliance question. The results vary but seem to reflect the general trend of around 10% expecting to comply with these standards by the end of this year.

     In my opinion, these studies are not scientifically conducted, however, one does get a general idea that:

  • Folks are aware of the revised and updated standards and their requirements.
  • Industry is aware of the effective date at the end of this year.
  • And, that industry does feel a need to adopt and/or comply with the requirements.

     We can argue the specifics all day long, however, doesn’t it seem that machine safety will be going through a paradigm shift over the next several months and perhaps years as SIL (safety integrity level) and Cat (Category) fade out as SIL and PL (Performance Level) become the new basis for machine guarding and hazard mitigation?

     Let’s hear your ideas. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 – Are We Ready By December 2011?

     Did you see the Safety Integration Webcast?

     Related articles:

Designing In Machine Guarding   

EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 - Are We Ready? - Part 2

Trouble Implementing ISO 13849-1; 2006 per the European Machinery Directive

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.

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