The Machinery Directive, history and evolution

Legislative framework

The history of the Machinery Directive has its roots in Decree 459 of 24/07/1996, which entered into force on 21/09/1996, and marks for the first time the receipt in Italy of the European Directive 89/392/CEE of 14/06/1989, then amended by Directives 91/368/CEE, 93/44/CEE and 93/68/CEE. Directive 89 /392/CEE lays down the essential requirements for safety and health protection (RESS) to be met by machinery at the time of its design, manufacture and operation before it is placed on the market.

Subsequently, the Directive underwent some revisions by the European Commission:

  1. Directive 98/37/CE of 22/06/1998: this is a re-publication of the text of Directive 89/392/CEE as amended by Directives 91/368/CEE , 93/44/CEE and 93/68/CEE . Therefore, there is nothing new with the Italian legislation.
  2. Directive 98/79/CE of 27/10/1998:excludes machinery for medical use. Directive 98/79/CEE is transposed in Italy by Legislative Decree 332/2000
  3. Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC of 17/05/2006: it repeals the previous Directive 98/37/EC from December 29th, 2009. Directive 2006/42/EC is transposed in Italy with Legislative Decree 17/2010.

The new Machinery Directive introduces some new features:

  • the scope of the new Directive is extended: chains, ropes and straps, removable mechanical transmission devices, portable explosive-charge equipment, construction site lifts and lifts with a speed not exceeding 0,15 m/s,
  • the Directive lays down special conditions for the free movement of “partly completed machinery”,
  • the conformity assessment procedures for machinery are updated in accordance with Annex IV,
  • the essential safety requirements of Annex I are amended.