News Article

Intention to revise the Machinery Directive – implications for furniture

It is understood that the Machinery Directive could be revised again. The intention was revealed at a presentation of Machinery Working Group in November. Normally new ideas for revision are put forward to see what reactions the Machinery Working Group would receive from the organisations who would be effected directly or indirectly by the products they manufacture or sell.

The key proposal being discussed which will affect the furniture industry concerns the possible introduction of emergency stops.

“Machinery must be fitted with one or more emergency stop devices to enable actual or impending danger to be averted”

This could result in electrically operated furniture having to have an emergency stop. This is an unnecessary and would be expensive as it would result in design changes to incorporate such functions in furniture. The risks in the electrically operated furniture which can be avoided by the introduction of emergency stop are not thought to be very significant. Therefore, the introduction of emergency stops in furniture should be prevented as well as ensuring the exceptions to this requirement should exclude furniture (including those operated by remote controls). CEN standards group working on the electrically operated furniture CENELEC standard is planning to ask EFIC (European Furniture Industries Confederation) to put these points officially to the Machinery Directive Working Group.