Risk analysis

One element of CE marking is the analysis of any risks inherent in the use of a product. In some cases it is sufficient to apply certain standards, but it is frequently necessary to undertake a risk analysis for the product. Since the risk analysis or the use of standards frequently have a direct influence on the design of a product, these procedures should start at the earliest possible stage.

The risk analysis relates to any hazards inherent in the presence and the use of the product. Once these have been identified an appropriate method can be used to estimate the level of risk. This can then be used to identify solutions which allow the risks to be reduced to an acceptable level. It is important here to use as a guide the requirements in the relevant EU directives and EU regulations. If it is not feasible to modify the design, measures will have to be prescribed to ensure safety by means of a guard, protection, a warning system or the use of personal protective equipment.

There is no single method of risk analysis that will produce the best results in all cases. In applying a method there is always a strong personal element as it is usually a matter of expressing a feeling in useful figures, where there is rarely an absolute truth. It is therefore important for the method to be suited to the person who will be carrying out the analysis. Secondly, it must be possible for the results to be directly applicable in practice. Thus the individual concerned will have to be acquainted with the analysis and then generate practical solutions.

For machines and all products that entail similar hazards the method used frequently expresses the risk as a function of injury or damage, amount or frequency of time spent in the danger area, the likelihood of the dangerous event and the degree to which the repercussions can be prevented.