User Instructions to EN 20607:2019

Author: CEmarking TEAM | Last edited: 09.05.2020

With the application of the new B-type norm EN ISO 20607:2019 Safety of machinery — Instruction handbook — General drafting principles; the requirements of section, exclusive information on noise emissions, of the 2006/42/EC Machinery Directive are now also regarded as fulfilled. Instructions are only one element of the information for use of a machine. ISO 82079 -1 covers this in a much more comprehensive manner.

EN ISO 20607 defines 'Principles and general information' in Section 4, whereby Section 4.11, which deals with usage information with regard to IT vulnerabilities, is also excluded from the presumption of conformity. In Section 4, the standard also refers to the important section 6.3 'Design and development, including review, editing and testing' of ISO/IEC/IEEE 82079-1, another aspect which shows that it is reasonable to work only with both standards.

Section 5 of EN ISO 20607 regulates 'Contents and structure of the operating instructions'. Here the standard provides a kind of 'recipe' for the structure and content of an instruction handbook, but makes it clear that this is only a recommendation and is intended to serve as a guide. Machine manufacturers or technical editors in the mechanical engineering industry must therefore continue to decide independently which actual structure is suitable for their information products. The proven IEC/IEEE 82079-1:2019 provides a more comprehensive approach.


EN ISO 20607 deals with basic parameters for operating instructions for machinery - an important aspect for many mechanical engineering companies. It does not provide comprehensive answers to profound questions of technical editors. This can be seen in section 6.5 of the standard as that gives only a brief note on how to write according to the proven SAFE principle (signal word, type and source of danger, consequences of disregard, escape from the dangerous situation, note). A categorization is completely missing, as it was done in ISO 82079-1 or even from ANSI Z535. The standard contains a more pragmatic definition of EN ISO 12100:2013 section 6.4 and can be understood and applied without extensive knowledge of technical documentation and communication. This is not the case with ISO 82079-1, which requires in-depth conceptual work and a well-organized information creation process.