Machinery can be described as "an assembly, fitted with or intended to be fitted with a drive system other than directly applied human or animal effort, consisting of linked parts or components, at least one of which moves, and which are joined together for a specific application".
The machinery sector is an important part of the engineering industry and is one of the industrial mainstays of the Community economy, and theMachinery Directive 2006/42/EC provides the regulatory basis for the harmonisation of the essential health and safety requirements for machinery at European Union level.
Essentially performing a dual function, the Directive not only promotes the free movement of machinery within the Single Market, but also guarantees a high level of protection to EU workers and citizens. Being a "New Legal Framework" Directive, it promotes harmonisation through a combination of mandatory health and safety requirements and voluntary harmonised standards. Such directives apply only to products which are intended to be placed (or put into service) on the EU market for the first time.
The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC was published on 9th June 2006 and it is applicable from 29th December 2009, replacing the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC.
Guide to application of Directive 2006/42/EC - 1st Edition - December 2009
This 1st Edition of the Guide to application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC includes comments on the Preamble, on the legal provisions set out in the Articles, on the essential health and safety requirements set out in Annex I and on the requirements for Declarations set out in Annex II. The 2nd Edition of the Guide, planned for the spring of 2010, will be completed with comments on Annexes III to XI of the Machinery Directive. It is intended to publish regular updates of the Guide in order to introduce answers to questions agreed by the Machinery Committee and the Machinery Working Group.