Incentive for defeating protective devices

Evaluation method implemented as an app for Android and iOS

Screenshot of the app on a smartphone

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The app on Android
Source: IFA

Over a quarter of all occupational accidents occurring on machinery are caused by the defeating of protective equipment. In most cases, defeating can be attributed to an inadequate safety concept: if one or more items of protective equipment on a machine obstruct the performance of certain tasks, an incentive exists for them to be defeated. The more defeating of protective equipment facilitates operation of the machine, the more likely it is to occur.

Companies manufacturing and operating machinery have an obligation to make safe machines available to the operating personnel. Machines presenting a high incentive for the defeating of protective equipment cannot be regarded as safe and should not be placed in service. Whether the item of protective equipment on a machine presents an incentive for defeating or not is therefore a pertinent question for both the company manufacturing the machine and the company operating it.

QR code to scan with a smartphone

QR code for download of the app

In order for the incentive to defeat protective equipment to be evaluated, the IFA has developed a method that has already been incorporated into a standard (EN ISO 14119). This method is now available in the form of an app for use on smartphones and tablets running on Android and on tablets running iOS. The IFA recommends its use on tablets. Alternatively, evaluation can be performed by means of an MS Excel table; the method implemented in this case is the same as that of the app. All versions of the software are available for download free of charge.

View of a table form

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Excerpt from the assessment matrix
Source: IFA

Evaluation should be performed by persons who are familiar with operation of the machine. It can be performed at any time, for example during design of the machine, before it is delivered, or when it is already in operation. If an incentive to defeat the protective equipment of a machine has been identified, measures are required in order for this incentive to be reduced. Further information can be found at


The software was developed with care in accordance with the state of the art and scientific progress. It is made available to the user free of charge. Users use it at their own risk.


To the extent permissible by law, no liability will be accepted for the software on any legal basis. In particular, no liability will be accepted for material defects or defects of title, whether in the software itself or in the associated information, and in particular with regard to its accuracy, freedom from errors, freedom from violation of the intellectual property rights and copyright of third parties, obsolescence, completeness and/or suitability for use, except where premeditation or fraudulent intent exists.

The IFA endeavours to keep its Internet service free of viruses. No guarantee can however be given that the software and information provided are virus-free. Users are therefore advised to take appropriate precautions of their own and to use a virus scanner before downloading software, documentation or information.

Further information

New Internet portal:
Advice to prevent defeating of protective devices for manufactureres, merchants and operators


Stefan Otto, B.Sc.

Accident Prevention: Digitalisation - Technologies

Tel: +49 30 13001-3525
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001