In Europe, machinery has to satisfy the formal and the essential safety and health requirements set out in EC Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This European directive applies to all machinery placed on the European Economic Area (EEA) market for the first time.
The Directive defines a "machine" 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," (Article 2(a)).
It does also include
For partly completed machinery there are some special requirements in the machinery directive.
Annex I of the Machinery Directive lists the essential safety and health requirements to be met by all machinery. The European CEN and CENELEC standardisation institutions draw up harmonised standards to supplement the essential requirements; the standards are applied on a voluntary basis.
Manufacturers must supply a declaration of conformity and affix CE marking to machinery as assurance that the product satisfies the essential safety and health requirements of all relevant EC directives. In the case of partly completed machinery , the declaration of conformity and the CE marking are replaced by a declaration of incorporation and assembly instructions.
Manufacturers can usually declare conformity with the Directive themselves. In the case of the machinery and safety components listed in Annex IV of the Machinery Directive (selected machinery with high risk potential), a body notified for such machinery/components must be involved in the conformity assessment if harmonised standards do not exist or are not used or it those standards do not cover all of the relevant health and safety requirements.
Apart from the compulsory CE marking, voluntary marking with the GS or DGUV Test mark is also possible for machinery.
The Machinery Directive was transposed into German law by the Equipment and Product Safety Act (Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz, abbreviated as "ProdSG") and the Machinery Ordinance (9th Verordnung zum Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz).
Almost all of the 19 DGUV Test testing and certification bodies test and certify machinery. In particular, the fact that they concentrate on specific sectors means that they provide a high level of expertise, which benefits the customer.
A list of the testing and certification bodies plus a database of the fields of testing they cover can be found under "Addresses".