Lawnmowers, 3D printers or assembly lines in the industry are all machines that need to be used safely.
The key health and safety requirements that machines must meet are set out in the Royal Decree of 12 August 2008 on placing machines on the market. This decree is an implementation decree of the Economic Law Code, Book IX on products and services safety.
This decree transposes Directive 2006/42/EC (Machine Directive) into Belgian law.
Which machines are concerned?
The Royal Decree of 12 August 2008 applies to the following products:
- Interchangeable equipment
- Safety components
- Lifting accessories
- Chains, cables and straps
- Removable mechanical transmission devices
- Partly completed machinery
Some machines and components are excluded from this decree. The complete list of excluded products can be found in Article 4 of the Royal Decree.
What are the manufacturer’s obligations
Before being placing machines and safety components on the market, manufacturers (or representatives) must:
- Make sure machines and safety components comply with the fundamental health and safety requirements
- Follow the relevant compliance assessment procedures
- Assemble a technical dossier
- Make the necessary information, such as instructions, available
- Define the EC declaration of conformity and make sure it is attached to the machine
- Affix the CE marking
If the manufacturer or those authorised to represent him established in the European Union fail to meet the aforementioned obligations, these obligations shall be incumbent to anyone retailing the machine or safety component.
The same obligations apply to those who assemble machines, machine parts or safety components from different origins, or those producing the machine or safety component for their own use.
Amendments to the regulation since 29 December 2009
Essential amendments have been made to the Royal Decree of 12 August 2008 on placing machines on the market:
- This decree is also applicable to partly completed machinery. The technical dossier of such machinery must describe the requirements of the decree with which they comply;
- The essential health and safety requirements for risk assessment are more detailed;
- For machines listed in Annex IV (considered as dangerous machines), the manufacturer has 2 options:
- If the manufacturer designs his machine in accordance with a harmonised standard which covers all relevant essential requirements, no intervention is required from a registered body to assess conformity.
If the manufacturer does not apply harmonised standards - or only partially - or if the standards applied do not cover all relevant essential requirements, he either opts for an EC-type examination, or for a "complete quality assurance" procedure (Annex X).