Industry Experts Discuss Importance of Functional Safety Standards for Machinery in India
Several thousand occupational accidents happen in India annually. With manufacturing playing an increasingly important role in India’s economy and more and more complex machines and technologies being used, functional safety of machinery is an important topic.
Experts from the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), Siemens, Sick India, SafeTsense and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) discussed the implementation of functional safety standards for machinery in India on 7 August 2020. The online exchange organised by the India chapter of VDMA was attended by around 100 participants.
The experts elaborated on machinery regulation in the European Union and provided an overview of the work on machinery safety standards in BIS’ technical committees. They also discussed the importance of conducting risk assessments to categorise and reduce risks – not only before placing machines on the market but also to maintain their durability and safety over time.
GIZ introduced the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure and presented the publication Making Safe Machines a Standard in India, which was published in cooperation with VDMA. Based on the conclusions of the publication and current developments, the need for a comprehensive regulation for machinery in India was underlined. It would enhance the competitiveness of the industry and promote a safe working environment. There was consensus that an effective market surveillance mechanism would be important to ensure compliance with the regulation.
In the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure both countries share good practices on market surveillance. A reference document for Indian policymakers on the market surveillance system in the European Union and its implementation in Germany is currently being developed. Further publications on machinery safety are also planned to support the industry with the implementation of relevant standards.
The Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure was established between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Indian Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (MoCAF&PD) in 2013. It serves as a platform to improve the mutual understanding of policies and regulations, and to jointly develop positions and solutions for international technical harmonisation – for example in the field of machinery safety. The Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports Indo-German cooperation in the areas of standardisation, conformity assessment, accreditation, product safety and market surveillance. As part of GPQI, GIZ – the German Agency for International Cooperation – has been commissioned by BMWi to support the implementation of the project in India.