Prevention section

International Section of the ISSA on Machine and System Safety

The ISSA Section for the Prevention of Occupational Risks in Machine and System Safety is committed to improving safety and health at work in the field of machine and system safety worldwide.


Each individual element of the system Man - Machine - Environment may be the cause of system weaknesses and thus lead to risks.

The tasks of the International Section of the ISSA on Machine and System Safety are to:

  • describe the approach to achieving system safety and provide pragmatic aid to practitioners in evaluating their task;
  • organize practice-oriented conferences and seminars;
  • produce and publish complex technical solutions for practical applications taking into account scientific principles and research results;
  • show how risk assessment can be applied in conjunction with new and established experiences and findings in the fields of safety technology, ergonomics, occupational psychology and occupational medicine;
  • initiate cross-sectoral prevention measures in co-operation with other Sections.


The Section on Machine and System Safety is composed of members. Its two executive bodies are: the General Assembly and the Bureau. The Bureau is elected by the General Assembly.

Members of the Bureau

The members' assembly elected the new Bureau in its meeting Oct. 5th, 2012 in Metz.


Norbert Weis
Institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the foodstuffs industry and the catering trade (BGN), Mannheim, Germany.


René Marbach
Directeur, Caisse d'Assurance Retraite et de la Santé au Travail Alsace-Moselle (CARSAT), Strasbourg, France

Ester Rotoli
Direzione Centrale Prevenzione Istituto nazionale per l'assicurazione contro gli infortuni sul lavoro (INAIL), Rome, Italy

Dr. Peter Rüdin
Delegate of CEO, Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt (Suva), Lucerne, Switzerland

Secretary General

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bischoff
Former Director Branch Office Mannheim, Institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the foodstuffs industry and the catering trade (BGN), Mannheim, Germany

Comprehensive Approach: Promoting and Improving Safety of Machines

Studies from different European countries and branches have shown that defeating protective devices of machines is rather "popular": at least 30% of machines in use are concerned. That is the reason that the ISSA-Section Machine and System Safety decided to start its "comprehensive approach". We want to show and collect examples that risk assessment for manufacturers and users is not only a legal obligation in the EU but also "a tool" to make machines safer and in consequence more reliable and productive. The first contact with risk assessment for the "life circle" of a machine must come before the design phase. Therefore we tackle the challenge in the following four connected modules.

Risk Assessment – an important tool or necessary steps to design, produce and use machinery?

  • Teach and learn safety
    Our goal: include information on risks assessment in curricula for future engineers
    First steps: concept (developed) + discussion with professors – 1st workshop in Slovakia and Czech Republic November 2013 – further workshops planned, using experience + expectations from industry
  • Include safety
    Our goal: show that risk assessment improves competitiveness of manufacturers by presenting good practice examples
    First step: use contacts to manufacturers + prevention services to collect examples and present, discuss in event 2016
  • Consider safety
    Our goal: make clear importance of risk assessment for machines to traders and buyers
    First step: collect existing tools/checklists to buy adequate machinery and discuss ways to reach target group in event 2016
  • Apply safety
    Our goal: show that safe machines are important for operator's health but also contribute to better results concerning productivity and quality
    First step: collect examples from users and discuss their approaches  in event 2016

Event 2016

Date: Oct. 20th/21st, 2015
Place: Strasbourg
Working title: „Machine and System Safety: How to deal with classic and new risks"


  1. Obligations of the manufacturer – Machinery Directive
  2. Obligations of the employer/ Safety at Work Framework Directive
  3. New developments in technology => Cyber Physical Systems

Parallel-Sessions branch specific

  • Automobile industry
  • Food processing and packaging machines
  • Chemistry                
  • Logistics/Transport   

The preliminary program will be available soon.

Working Groups

Experts from more than 10 countries - from insurance carriers, research institutes, companies, associations and individuals - work together in the following four working groups:

Risk Management

The working group 'Risk Management' aims at showing the importance of risk governance and risk management for successful, safe and healthy working, in accordance with international legal regulations, and to make transparent its complexity. Special attention is given to new trends and new risks in the modern society and world of work. It is directed at insurers and prevention services of occupational risks as well as to risk managers and other responsible persons in the enterprise for questions of principle and to experts for special issues.

The book "Risks in the modern societies", focussing on risk profiles of modern work life, the governance and the management of traditional and modern risks has been published in March 2008

Current activities

  • International seminars to present and discuss essential points
  • Discussions on complexity of risk, focusing on the changing character of work in globalized economy
  • Provide guidelines for Risk Management and Risk Governance
  • Develop an expert network
  • The group participated in the 4th World Congress on Risk in Singapore, July 2015, organized by the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), title: risk analysis for sustainable innovation.


Prof. Siegfried Radandt
Technical Advisor of the Section Machine and System Safety, Brühl, Germany


Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bischoff, Section Machine and System Safety, Mannheim, Germany
Prof. Ortwin Renn, Center of Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
Prof. Juraj Sinay, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia

Control Devices

The working group 'Control Devices' aims to support and communicate respective aspects concerning safety on machines and plants in a comprehensible and user-appropriate manner and to promote qualified discussion between interested persons. It is addressed to manufacturers, designers and enterprises as well as to consultants for relevant questions concerning safety of machines and plants.

Current activities

  • Disussion of current questions concerning control engineering (for example EN 13849-1)
  • Seminars in 2015: „Functional Safety and Validation" in Milano:
    - May 20th/21st, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan
    - May 25th/26th, 2015 in Shanghai, China
    - Oct. 22nd,/23rd, 2015, 2015 in Milano, Italy


Klaus-Dieter Becker, Berufsgenossenschaft Energie Textil Elektro Medienerzeugnisse, Wiesbaden, Germany


  • Giuseppe Carlantuono, Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Patrick Gehlen, Siemens AG, Nürnberg, Germany                                                                
  • Otto Görnemann, SICK AG, Waldkirch, Germany
  • Berthold Heinke, Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Bernard Mysliwiec, Siemens AG, Nürnberg, Germany
  • Fabio Pera, INAIL,Rome, Italy
  • Thomas Pilz, Pilz GmbH, Ostfildern, Germany
  • Thomas Schulz, Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall, Düsseldorf, Germany

Explosion Protection  – in cooperation with the Chemistry Section

There are two sub-groups. The groups are focusing on how to eliminate/reduce explosions risks when processing gas, dust, etc. Addressed to users and to consultants for safety and health in the enterprises.

  1. Group "chemistry": Dealing with: ignition sources; elaboration of "fact sheets" regarding green energy, revision of the EU-27 brochure on explosion protection (planned)
  2. Group "machine and system safety": Dealing with "modular design of a mill facility" in different process steps. Currently in progress: reception of the product, storage/ensilage as well as grinding/crushing. Planned: cleaning of the product, drying, packaging.

Current activities

The Working Group "Explosion Protection" has published, for example, a practical guide to document working areas with explosive atmospheres: "Practical assistance for the preparation of an explosion protection document" as users are obliged to such an document according to the Directive 1999/92/EC.

Collection of examples from different branches (bakeries, breweries, chemical industry) for such a document, in order to integrate it into an informatiom system for users, in particular small-sized enterprises. Already published: Part 1: Mills, crushers, mixers, separators, screeners, Part 2: Continious conveyors, transition points and receiving containers =>


Dr. Martin Gschwind, Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt (Suva), Lucerne, Switzerland


Group Machine and System Safety:

  • Dr. Andreas Arnold, Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrungsmittel und Gastgewerbe (BGN, Mannheim, Germany
  • Dr. Martin Glor, Swiss Process Safety Consulting GmbH, Allschwil, Switzerland
  • Ake Harmanny, ISMA NV, Kontich, Belgium
  • Ute Hesener, DEKRA, Bochum, Germany
  • Zdravko Kramar, Ex-department SIQ Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Gerard van Laar, INBUREX Consulting, Hamm, Germany
  • Gerhard Nied, AZO, Osterburken, Germany
  • Dr. Roland, Ott, Switzerland
  • Prof. Siegfried Radandt, Technical Adviser Section MSS, Brühl, Germany
  • Marc Scheid, Syngenta Protection Münchwilen AG, Münchwilen, Switzerland
  • Richard Siwek, FireEx Consultant GmbH, Kaiseraugst, Switzerland

Human factor, ergonomics and safe machines

Targets of project:

  • Describe the requirements of the Machinery Directive on ergonomics (= minimum goal setting for safety) while using the relevant EN-Standards + ISO-Standards (similar, or less restrictive, for example: anthropometric measures) + add information of practical relevance and provide useful links for users.
  • Develop practical working aid for designers and producing engineers how to integrate safety into the design and production of machinery.
  • Design the necessary steps according to complexity, provide applicable practical aids (indication of relevant Standards = theoretical basis)
  • Deal specifically with software ergonomics
  • Reflect new requirements from new technologies => Cyber Physical Systems, for ex. industry 4.0 (Germany)


Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bischoff, Institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the foodstuffs industry and the catering trade (BGN), Mannheim, Germany


  • Urs Kaufmann, Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Luigi Monica, INAIL, Rome, Italy
  • Manu Nellutla, FIOSA-MIOSA, Chilliwack, Canada
  • Dr. Peter Nickel, Institut für Arbeitssicherheit – IFA, Sankt Augustin, Germany
  • Michael Wichtl, Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Vienne, Austria
  • Prof. Siegfried Radandt, Technical Adviser Section MSS, Brühl, Germany
  • René Ulbrich, BGRCI, Langenhagen, Germany

With the website, the Section on Machine and System Safety intends to contribute to an open discussion within companies of the issue of defeating protective equipment
Against the background of global markets, the problem of defeated protective equipment is not limited to individual countries. An international exchange of information relating to this issue is desirable.

With the information provided on the website , the Section on Machine and System Safety of the International Social Security Association intends to contribute to an open discussion within companies of the issue of defeating protective equipment. These discussions are to be the basis for new solutions to avoid incentives for defeat in the future, and thus to render acts of defeating protective equipment unnecessary.


Leonhard Blümcke, Institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the foodstuffs industry and the catering trade (BGN), Mannheim, Germany


  • Ralf Apfeld, IFA – Institut für Arbeitsschutz der DGUV, Sankt Augustin, Germany
  • Luciano di Donato, INAIL, Rome, Italy
  • Stefan Krähan, Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Vienne, Austria
  • Frank Mays, BGHM – Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall, Mainz, Germany
  • Markus Schnyder, Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Andreas Stoye, Institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the foodstuffs industry and the catering trade (BGN), Mannheim, Germany

Market Observation

The Working Group "Market Observation" aimed at:

  • collecting practical information on questions concerning market observation in the EC;
  • creating a network of organizations able to supply consultation and support for manufacturers, developers and/or users/operators in order to fulfil the corresponding duties;
  • developing an European network to describe and forward information concerning problems at the moment of the purchase of machinery/working tools in order to achieve quick problem solutions between the parties involved.

It is addressed to designers, manufacturers; users, operators; consultants and controllers concerning safety at work (safety of machines and installations). Its strategy is to win European partners for the project group, develop a working program and put together a list of organisations playing a role in the relation manufacturer - operator and describe the activities of the participating countries.

Results: Some new machines used in the enterprises present challenges, risks for the safety and health of the users. Not all manufacturers or designers have sufficient knowledge of the regulations and standards valid in the European Union or do not apply them correctly. In each member state authorities have been put into charge of the market surveillance. This system could be improved by a stronger integration of competent prevention bodies which are in a close contact with the users as well as with the manufacturers of machines. They would be able to facilitate the communication between the concerned parties and could benefit from all the observations and information in order to promote the prevention. This is the contribution which this working group can do for the system of market surveillance.

The working group has finished its work.

We are the coordinating Section for developing a working program for the target group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the Special Commission on Prevention.

This website was maintained by non-commercial organizations from different countries, promoting occupational safety and health in small and medium-sized enterprises. It is based on the "10 keys to success" for a small enterprise in the area of prevention. The site covers contents and tools, which may be used in the practice of SMEs. Target groups are employees and employers in SMEs as well as stakeholders, such as teachers. The organizations responsible for this site are interested in spreading all information given on the site. Therefore, the contents may be used for non-commercial purposes. Any use of the contents of this site for commercial purposes is subject to explicit authorization of the authors and other relevant copyright holders.

The Website is created in cooperation with the Special Commission on Prevention of the ISSA.


International Section of the ISSA on Machine and System Safety
Dynamostrasse 7 - 11
DE- 68165 Mannheim
T: +49 621 44 56 2213
F: +49 621 44 56 2190

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