Managing the risks of suspended loads in packaging machines: focus on automatic and semi-automatic winders conforming to EN 415


Packaging machines involving suspended loads present a number of risks that must be managed with technical rigour to ensure the safety of operators during operation and maintenance. In this context, European directives and regulations, in particular the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and standards EN 415-10 and EN 415-6, provide an essential technical framework to mitigate these risks effectively.


Associated Risks and Safety Measures

One of the main risks is falling or ejected objects, as well as uncontrolled movements of suspended loads. To ensure safety during operation, the regulations stipulate that two basic safety measures must be in place:

  • Perimeter Guards: Adequate perimeter protection must be provided to prevent access to critical points of the machine when lifting or lowering the load.
  • System Locking: It is essential that the lifting system is equipped with a secure locking mechanism that prevents unexpected load movement during operation.


Operational Security and Technical Solutions

During machine operation, it is essential to ensure that the mechanisms for lifting and lowering loads are reliable and safe. To this end, various technical solutions are adopted:

  • Safety Brakes: A safety brake is installed on the motors used for lifting suspended loads to ensure that lifting operations stop immediately in the event of an emergency.
  • Positive Logic Locking Pins: A positive logic locking pin, monitored by sensors or safety valves, offers additional protection against uncontrolled load movements during machine operation.


Safety during Maintenance

During maintenance operations, suspended loads must be lowered to the ground or mechanically locked safely to avoid accidents. For example, a mechanical lock can be used to secure the load in a stable position during maintenance activities.


Technological Improvements for Security

To further increase the level of safety, specific technological improvements can be implemented:

  • Gearmotors with a 1:1 Reduction Ratio: Installing gearmotors with a 1:1 reduction ratio makes the motion of the motor irreversible, helping to prevent the accidental dropping of suspended loads.
  • Inverters with Additional Safety Features: Some inverters offer advanced features to hold the motor in place, but it is essential that these features are certified by the manufacturer to ensure operational safety.



Managing the risks associated with suspended loads in packaging machines requires a rigorous technical approach that complies with current regulations. By implementing the safety measures suggested by EN 415 standards and adopting best engineering practices, it is possible to ensure a safe working environment and protect operators from potential hazards during daily machine operation and maintenance. Compliance with the mechanical locking requirement remains crucial to ensure an adequate level of operational safety.

Recommended articles