KAN Report 41
|Safety of agricultural machinery, 06/2008, Wilfried Gramatte (693 KB)|
Bookmarks in the pdf file link directly to the individual chapters. In the list of bookmarks, all sections available in English and French are highlighted in colour.
|Report of the project contractor (355 KB)|
KAN, the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization, launched the study into the safety of agricultural machinery owing to differences in opinion in Germany regarding the safety precautions necessary on agricultural machinery. For example, guards providing protection against hazardous movements are a prominent aspect of the provisions of the Machinery Directive. Conversely, it is pointed out repeatedly in the agricultural sector that on agricultural machinery, consideration must be given to the particular conditions of mobile use and to the underlying procedures employed, and that in this context, use of the guards referred to above is often not possible. This view is also reflected in the relevant safety standards for agricultural machinery and equipment. Among the EU Member States, Italy and France consider this approach to be in contravention of the Machinery Directive.
In view of this, KAN saw a need for close co-operation and co-ordination to be initiated between the parties to OSH within the European Union. The study is intended to provide a basis by which the parties to occupational safety and health in Europe can exert influence upon the standardization of agricultural machinery at European and international level.
Performance of the study
Agricultural engineering encompasses tractors, agricultural and forestry machinery, garden equipment and municipal machinery. Standardization is conducted at national, European and international level.
The focus of the study lay upon the examination of harmonized European standards which support the Machinery Directive. The working group supporting the project selected 23 standards and draft standards relevant to the core area of agriculture. The areas of forestry and garden equipment, municipal machinery, manually guided equipment, and standards governing the environmental aspects of agricultural machinery were excluded from the analysis.
The requirements set out in the standards and draft standards studied were compared to the essential health and safety requirements of Annex I of the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC. Based upon this comparison, recommendations were formulated concerning which sections in the standards and draft standards should be reviewed with regard to their support for Annex I of the Machinery Directive.
From an OSH perspective, six key aspects can be identified within the recommendations:
- Safety distances
- Guards/protective devices
- Workplaces, servicing locations, platforms and means of access
- Risk of rupture of hydraulic hoses
- Location of controls
The KAN study proposes that, during adaptation of the body of standards as a whole, a generic basic agricultural engineering standard be developed based upon EN 1553, "Agricultural machinery - Agricultural self-propelled, mounted, semi-mounted and trailed machines - Common safety requirements" and ISO 4254-1, "Agricultural machinery - Safety - Part 1: General requirements" in accordance with the requirements of the Machinery Directive. This basic standard should serve as a basis for Type C standards for specific machines; in the latter, the particular conditions prevailing in agriculture should be incorporated as appropriate, and consideration given to the state of the art. The Type C standards should address all relevant requirements of the directive for the product concerned. Only then can a manufacturer who applies harmonized European standards assume that his product gives rise to a presumption of conformity with the essential requirements of the directive. The other affected parties (notified bodies, market surveillance authorities and users), however, also benefit considerably from all relevant health and safety requirements of the directive being addressed in the standards.