Article 1.2.2. Control devices - annex 1 of machinery directive 2006/42/EC

The text in RED color is the amended or added text in comparison with the former 98/37/EC machinery directive.

1.2.2. Control devices


In the old Machinery Directive 98/37/EC, the term used was "commands". This term has been replaced by a "control device".

Original Comment:

Dans l’ancienne directive machines 98/37/CE, le terme utilisé était « commandes ».  Ce terme a disparu au profit de « organe de service ».

Control devices must be:

- clearly visible and identifiable, using pictograms where appropriate,

- positioned in such a way as to be safely operated without hesitation or loss of time and without ambiguity,

- designed in such a way that the movement of the control device is consistent with its effect,

- located outside the danger zones, except where necessary for certain control devices such as an emergency stop or a teach pendant,

- positioned in such a way that their operation cannot cause additional risk,

- designed or protected in such a way that the desired effect, where a hazard is involved, can only be achieved by a deliberate action,

- made in such a way as to withstand foreseeable forces; particular attention must be paid to emergency stop devices liable to be subjected to considerable forces.

Where a control device is designed and constructed to perform several different actions, namely where there is no one-to-one correspondence, the action to be performed must be clearly displayed and subject to confirmation, where necessary.

Control devices must be so arranged that their layout, travel and resistance to operation are compatible with the action to be performed, taking account of ergonomic principles.

Machinery must be fitted with indicators as required for safe operation. The operator must be able to read them from the control position.

From each control position, the operator must be able to ensure that no-one is in the danger zones, or the control system must be designed and constructed in such a way that starting is prevented while someone is in the danger zone.

If neither of these possibilities is applicable, before the machinery starts, an acoustic and/or visual warning signal must be given. The exposed persons must have time to leave the danger zone or prevent the machinery starting up.


In the old Machinery Directive 98/37/EC, the term "main control position" was written, but the only requirement was for the operator to ensure the non-presence of people in the danger zone.

The new Directive 2006/42/EC includes as above, the co-activity and interactivity of machines together (plurality of control stations) has been integrated. In addition, the operator can use a more new technical means that can be integrated into the control system designed to prevent starting of the machine until a person is in the danger zone.

Original Comment:

Dans l’ancienne directive machines 98/37/CE, le terme « poste de commande principal » figurait, mais la seule exigence consistait pour l’opérateur à s’assurer de la non-présence de personne dans la zone dangereuse.

La nouvelle directive machines 2006/42/CE inclut comme précédemment, la co-activité et l’interactivité des machines entre elles (pluralité de postes de commande) a été intégrée. De plus l’opérateur peut en plus recourir a de nouveaux moyens techniques qui peuvent être intégrés aux système de commande construits pour interdire la mise en marche tant qu'une personne se trouve dans la zone dangereuse.

If necessary, means must be provided to ensure that the machinery can be controlled only from control positions located in one or more predetermined zones or locations.


Standards related to safety aspects have evolved to introduce aspects of co-activity and coordination of multiple workstations.

Original Comment:

Les normes traitant des aspects de sécurité ont évolué pour introduire les aspects de co-activité et de coordination de plusieurs postes de travail.

Where there is more than one control position, the control system must be designed in such a way that the use of one of them precludes the use of the others, except for stop controls and emergency stops.

Original Comment:

Previous Directive 98/37/EC incorporated this requirement in Chapter "workstation" for the risks of mobility machines (Paragraph 3 of Annex I). This requirement was extended to all machines.

Original Comment:

La précédente directive machines 98/37/CE intégrait cette exigence au chapitre « poste de travail » pour les risques liés à la mobilité des machines (Paragraphe 3 de l’annexe I). Cette exigence a été étendue à toutes les machines.

When machinery has two or more operating positions, each position must be provided with all the required control devices without the operators hindering or putting each other into a hazardous situation.