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Structure of Standards | 21 Aug 2014 | |

Structure of Standards

Explanation of standards structure using the safety standard EN ISO 12100:2010 as an example

The following text is the introduction to the aforementioned standard:

EN ISO 12100:2010



The main purpose of this international standard consists of providing designers with a complete overview and instructions for decisions to be made during the development of machines so as to allow them to design machines that are safe for their intended use. In addition, it provides a strategy for standards makers and serves as a guide for working out Type B and Type C standards that are suitable and matched to each other.

The term safety of machines considers the capability of a machine to perform its intended function(s) during its service life, while the risk was sufficiently reduced.

This international standard forms the foundation for a series of standards that features the following structure:

Type A standards (safety base standard)

treat basic terms, design principles and general aspects that can be applied to machines;

Type B standards (technical safety base standards)

treat a safety aspect or a type of protective devices that can be applied to an entire series of machines:

  • Type B1 standards for certain safety aspects (e.g. safety distances, surface temperature, noise);
  • Type B2 standards for protective devices (e.g. two-handed switching, interlock devices, pressure-sensitive protective devices, disconnecting protective devices);

Type C standards (machine safety standards)

treat detailed safety requirements for a certain machine or group of machines.

This international standard is a Type A standard.

If a Type C standard deviates from one or several specifications that are covered by this international standard or a Type B standard, then the Type C standard has priority.

It is desirable to integrate this international standard in the training and manuals to convey the fundamental terminology and general design methods to designers.


(Source: DIN EN ISO 12100:2010 (D), free translation to English)

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