Importer's responsibilities

What should you discuss with the manufacturer or their representative?

Explain to the manufacturer the nature of the work for which you intend to use the machinery and the (operating) conditions in the workplace in so far as they impact on employees’ safety.

Examples of questions to ask from the manufacturer:

  • Has the manufacturer drawn up an EC declaration of conformity and affixed CE marking to the machinery?
  • What kinds of risks could operating the machinery pose to employees’ health and safety?
  • Are there any mechanical hazards associated with the machinery, such as dangerous, exposed moving parts, and what kinds of guards and safety devices are supplied with the machinery?
  • Is an emergency-stop function needed, and how is the machinery disconnected from its power source?
  • What are the operating principles of the control system and control devices of the machinery?
  • Does the machinery produce emissions? If emissions from the machinery are substantial, are existing extraction systems sufficient or is a new system needed?
  • Has the machinery been designed so as to minimise noise and vibration levels?
  • Do the operating instructions include information on noise and vibration emissions from the machinery?
  • Are there any components in the machinery that are either very hot or very cold and, if there are, can they be insulated or covered?
  • Are there any lasers or other sources of radiation in the machinery and, if there are, can the risk of radiation exposure be eliminated? If it is not possible to eliminate the risk, what precautions should be taken to prevent the harmful effects of radiation?
  • How have the risks associated with electricity been taken into account: guards for live components, electrical insulation to account for the operating conditions, electrostatic phenomena, short circuits and other thermal phenomena resulting from overloading?
  • How have ergonomic principles been taken into account in order to prevent the machinery from causing excessive physical or psychological strain?
  • Are there other sources of energy, such as hydraulic or compressed air systems, that could pose a risk?
  • Is there enough information available on assembly, maintenance and troubleshooting?
  • How does the design/build of the machinery cater for maintenance, servicing and making adjustments to the machinery: isolation of energy sources, access to operating positions and servicing points, access to components that need to be changed frequently, cleaning of internal parts?
  • Are there any special instructions for decommissioning and disposing of the machinery?
  • Is the manufacturer able to provide information on any issues relating to the machinery that other operators who have bought similar machinery have encountered?
  • Is type examination required?