Safety of machines designed for use by consumers
All machines must meet European safety requirements. The safety of machines is regulated by the government decree on the safety of machinery (400/2008, ‘Machinery Decree’). Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC has been enacted by the Machinery Decree, which prescribes general safety requirements on the structures and markings of machinery. Safety standards include more detailed technical requirements for various machines.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) supervises the safety of machines designed for use by consumers. The safety of machines intended for professional use is supervised by the occupational safety and health authorities. The authorities cooperate on the market surveillance of machinery. The safety of machinery is not inspected in advance by the authorities. Companies are responsible for ensuring that all machines comply with the requirements of the Machinery Decree.
More detailed instructions on the safety requirements of machinery, responsibilities of companies and the importation of machines can be found in publications on the safety of machinery by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of Finland, available free of charge from their website. The guides are suitable not only for machinery intended for use at work but also for machines designed for use by consumers, because the requirements of the decree apply to all machinery.
Markings and documentation
All machines must bear a CE marking and any other necessary symbols. These include the business name and full address of the manufacturer and its authorised representative, the name of the machine, its serial or type marking, any serial number and year of manufacture as well as the required warning markings that can also be displayed as symbols that comply with the relevant regulations.
All machines must be accompanied by operating and maintenance instructions and an EU Declaration of Conformity, appended to the operating instructions. Before a machine is placed on the market, the manufacturer must ensure that the technical file of the machine (Annex VII A of the Machinery Directive) is available. The manufacturer can use the technical file, where necessary, to attest to the machine’s conformity to the regulations. The person named in the EC Declaration of Conformity must be able to compile the technical file for use by the surveillance authority.
Guides to application of the Machinery Directive
A guide to application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC was published in English in December 2009. The guide has now been translated into several official EU languages, including Finnish and Swedish. The translations are available on the European Commission’s website.