Machine Safety: IEC, ISO, ANSI, NFPA, SEMI, ASTM, ASME, NEMA machine safety compliance

The standards march: where are they headed? Which will litigation reference? For compliance? As international standards (IEC and ISO) are increasing worldwide adoption they are cited in U.S. domestic machine safety standards from ANSI, NFPA, SEMI, ASTM, ASME, NEMA, etc. Are these standards adopting or referencing IEC or ISO requirements for compliance?

05/18/2014


As international standards (IEC and ISO) are increasing their worldwide adoption are they also becoming required for U.S. domestic compliance? We’ve had domestic machine safety standards (ANSI, NFPA, SEMI, ASTM, ASME, NEMA, etc.) for decades. Are these standards adopting or referencing IEC or ISO requirements for compliance? Where are machine safety standards headed?

Might there be global harmony in functional safety standards for machinery? There's a working group for that. Courtesy: Control Engineering Machine Safety Blog, JB Titus and Associates

Yes, we have had machine safety standards for decades. And, all of our domestic standards have established time frames for when their committee re-convenes to update their standard.

Purpose of machine standards updates

These updates are typically to:

1. Clear up possible reported confusion

2. Incorporate application changes

3. Incorporate revised requirements driven by new technology.

There may be additional reasons for an updated edition but historically the oversight bodies for U.S. standards have been reluctant to use a normative (required) reference to an international standard. It’s been my experience, with ANSI for example, that the committee would adopt a concept for incorporation into a machine safety standard. An example was the Category approach for hazards and component safety certification published in EN 954. I don’t recall ANSI ever having a normative reference to EN 954 versus incorporating the concept of Categories using ANSI normative language. Updated ANSI standards in the late 1990s and early 2000s only used “informative” references to EN 954. I believe the main reason for this approach was because “EN” means that 954 was a European Norm which is a domestic European standard versus an international standard.

Reference without conformance

On the other hand, IEC and ISO standards have representatives from the U.S. on their committees so these standards are not country specific. Having said that, when NFPA 79; 2002 edition was published we included informational references to IEC 61508 and ISO 13849-1 but did not require conformance with these standards.

One reason this approach is often taken by a domestic standard committee in my opinion is because the international standard may include other requirements outside the scope of the domestic machine safety standard. Additionally, members of standards committees are traditionally slow to adopt large changes in practice regarding compliance.

Standards incorporation, integration, mergers  

So, where are machine safety standards headed? I believe that over the next 10 to 20 years we will gradually see:

  • More incorporation of international standards into U.S. domestic standards language.
  • More normative (required) references to specific parts of an international machine safety standard.
  • International standards also will evolve to a more global view representing the various industrial sophistication advancement levels around the globe.
  • More standards to merge,  to simplify and reduce complexities, as in the current case of merging IEC 62061 and ISO 13849 with expected completion by 2018 (see graphic).

However, one thing seems apparent – for the near term as I see it, we will continue to have both domestic U.S. and international machine safety standards for the next 10 to 20 years. U.S. compliance requirements could continue expanding to include international standards. And, this might already be the case should an industrial injury litigation case occur.

What is your opinion? Has your experience been similar or different? Add your comments or thoughts to the discussion by submitting your ideas, experiences, and challenges in the comments section below.

Related articles see the embedded link and scroll to the bottom for related coverage about:

Machine Safety – one global machine safety standard, is this real?

The increasing role of functional safety in complex machine design by Mark Nehrkorn

Machine Safety: 13 terms to know for compliance with functional safety, ISO 13849-1

The Buzz About ISO 13849-1: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (and a Possible Alternate Solution) by Mike Carlson.

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



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me