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Safety of machinery

Obligations of the designers, manufacturers and sellers of machines

The designer and manufacturer of a machine are responsible for identifying the hazards associated with the machine and for assessing the risks posed by them. The machine must be designed and constructed in such a way as to minimise residual risks. Technical measures, such as guards and safety devices, must primarily be used to manage the residual risks.

The manufacturer is responsible for compiling a technical file for the machine and providing instructions for use. When the machine meets the requirements for its intended use, the manufacturer signs a declaration of conformity and affixes a CE marking. The declaration of conformity is a guarantee that the machine meets the relevant safety requirements.

The importer or seller of the machine provides the purchaser with instructions for use, maintenance and inspection in Finnish (in Swedish, if necessary).

The safety instructions for the machine must include the following information:

  • safe use of the machine and, where appropriate, prohibited uses
  • inspection instructions
  • maintenance and servicing (cleaning, adjustment, repairs)
  • machine emissions: noise, dust, radiation, gas, heat, etc.
  • noise level
  • residual risks and procedures for managing residual risks
  • guards and safety devices.

Procurement and use of machines at the workplace

The employer may only provide employees with machines, tools and other equipment that comply with the relevant requirements and are suitable and appropriate for the task at hand and the working conditions. In order to be able to select appropriate machines and equipment for the workplace, the employer must be familiar with and inform the seller of the operating conditions and other special requirements when purchasing them.

The employer must provide employees with guidance on the safe use of machines and tools. In the guidance, special attention should be paid to the safety of maintenance and repair work, as well as on how to act in the event of a disruption. If, during a maintenance measure, the machine has to be operated with the safety devices switched off, there must be another safety method for such a situation in which the machine is set in a safe operating mode with the selector switch of the control system of the machine, for example.

Employees have a duty to be aware of the risks posed by the machines and tools that they use and that are located in their working environment and how to anticipate them.

Machines must be kept safe throughout their service life through regular maintenance and servicing.

When assessing the risks posed by machines, attention must be paid to the following aspects:

  • moving parts and external structures of the machine (sharp corners, spikes, protruding screws, etc.)
  • where appropriate, falling objects or objects being ejected
  • cold and hot surfaces
  • live parts
  • noise, vibration, radiation, electromagnetic fields
  • emissions that are harmful to health and cause a risk of explosion (dusts, gases, fumes, vapours)
  • ergonomics
  • automatic functions.

Electrical safety

Electrical devices must be safe for users and property when properly installed, used in accordance with the instructions and serviced. Electrical equipment must be protected in such a way as to prevent the risk of electric shock to the user through direct and indirect contact and to prevent electric arcs and fires.

To ensure electrical safety, it is important that the electrical devices, cords and sockets used at work are intact. When arranging and managing electrical cables, it must be ensured that the cables are protected against mechanical hazards and that they do not cause harm to people moving around the workplace. Cables must be arranged by using cable trays. Switchboard rooms must be kept clean and the entrances to them unobstructed. The areas in front of switchboards must be kept clear of items.

When working in damp, explosive or confined conductive environments, electrical devices and power tools must meet special requirements. Electrical work may only be carried out by professionals registered in the Electrical Contractors Register of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (TUKES).