Machine Safety: Are you a chosen one?

A joint committee is merging two global machine safety standards (ISO 13849-1:2006, Safety of machinery -- Safety-related parts of control systems -- Part 1: General principles for design and IEC 62061:2005, Safety of machinery - Functional safety of safety-related electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems). Is this a good thing?


We live in a business world that’s both global and local. The world’s compliance requirements are also very complex and varied from rigid requirements to shut your eyes! Two global standards (ISO 13849-1:2006, Safety of machinery -- Safety-related parts of control systems -- Part 1: General principles for design and IEC 62061:2005, Safety of machinery - Functional safety of safety-related electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems) have formed a joint committee to merge these standards. Is this hurray?


For the most part, yes!


There have been a few blogs and white papers (including yours truly) on this subject. And, there’s a new blogger that’s recently expressed an opinion. Rockwell Automation’s updated Safety Resource Center web site is now available and it includes a new safety blog called “Guardman Blog.” The first blog is titled, “What direction are standards going? 13849/62061.” Interesting and on topic, yes? Actually, the writer presents a pretty good summary of why combining these two standards will benefit industry (global and local) but for those who are chosen. This means that interested parties will be from the more complex countries with rigid requirements.


And, like all similar commentary (and, all the safety standards as well) the attention is driven to the SRP/CS. SRP/CS decoded means – Safety Related Parts of the Control System. As an end user in the United States, what’s this mean? Well, since you’re the first in line for OSHA enforcement, these standards deal with only a piece of your challenge. For review, your challenge is to address the full curve of hazard reduction from mechanical redesign to gloves and steel toe shoes. SRP/CS is getting a lot of attention, that’s correct, but for you, it’s only part of the full curve.


Are you getting enough attention to the full curve?


J.B. Titus, CFSEYour comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. 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: Machine Safety: Are you a chosen one?


Related articles:

Machine Safety – globalization of safety standards doesn’t equal global compliance.

Inside Machines: Does adopting ISO 13849-1:2006 change the U.S. model for compliance and enforcement?

Machine Safety – does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?

Machine Safety: Is OSHA okay with my 'acceptable' risk mitigation?

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