The Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) is on the whole relevant, effective and coherent. It has a European value added, is appropriate for the objective aimed at, and conducive to innovation. These are the findings of the evaluation of the text published in early May.
“From the legal viewpoint, certain provisions should be clarified and offer better consistency with other legislation. In the field, the evaluation revealed that shortcomings in monitoring and application of the directive have detracted from its effectiveness”, according to the UNM.
The Commission has to evaluate EU legislation to ensure that it is properly suited for emerging digital technologies and innovative products. The Machinery Directive lays down general health and safety requirements for products such as robots and 3D printers. The technical solutions to be implemented to reach a high safety level are then left to the discretion of the manufacturers.
The Commission will launch a study to investigate in greater detail certain aspects of emerging technologies, such as human/machine co-working, which are not explicitly dealt with by the directive.