There has been much conflicting information about the status of the EN safety standard. It appears that things are settling down. The European Commission recently extended the deadline for transition from EN 954-1 until Dec. 31, 2011. This extension provides an additional 24 months for machine builders to meet the new standards, EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061. New directive allows use of EN 954-1, EN ISO 13849-1 for Presumption of Conformity through Dec. 31, 2011; EN 954-1 Withdrawn after 2011.

Rockwell Automation is encouraging machine builders to comply with EN ISO 13849-1 as soon as possible. “Early adopters not only will move ahead of the competition, but also help better protect workers and machinery,” said Dan Hornbeck, safety market development manager, Rockwell Automation. “These new standards provide functional safety guidance that helps improve safety, efficiency and sustainability — while reducing development and operational costs.”

EN 954-1, formerly the main standard for the design of safety-related control systems in the “machinery safety” sector, traditionally has been followed for presumption of conformity to European Machinery Directive 98/37/EC. Newer standards EN ISO 13849-1 or EN/IEC 62061 — which provide for use of more advanced safety-control systems technologies – are in place, applicable now, and will fully replace EN 954-1 on Dec. 31, 2011. At that time, the new control system standards will become the only ones accepted under the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This widely anticipated change was first published in 2006. This two-year period should be viewed as a transition period to fully comply with the new standards rather than as an extension of the old standard.

Rockwell Automation offers functional safety data in multiple forms, including a data library for use with the SISTEMA calculation tool from the BGIA (Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance), and a PDF file providing data for manual calculation. Functional safety data, including the SISTEMA calculation tool and library, can be downloaded at the Rockwell Automation Safety Solutions Portal.

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