Clear, comprehensive instructions in Finnish and Swedish are an essential part of a compliant machine.
Legislation requires each machine to be accompanied by instructions in one or more of the official languages in use in the member state in which it is placed on the market or put into service. In Finland, this means that the machine must be accompanied by instructions in Finnish and Swedish.
The instructions supplied with machinery must be original or a translation of the original instructions. In the case of translations such as Finnish and Swedish translations of originally English instructions, the translations must be accompanied by the original English instructions.
Maintenance instructions are an exception if they are intended for experts appointed by the manufacturer or their authorised representative. These only need to be supplied in one community language which is understood by the experts concerned. This exception does not apply to instructions for maintenance to be carried out by the user or by maintenance personnel appointed by the user. The exception can be applied only if the manufacturer’s instructions to the user clearly specify which maintenance activities are to be carried out only by a specialist authorised by the manufacturer or their authorised representative.
Content of the instructions
The information should provide instructions for how to assemble, install, operate, store, maintain and safely dispose of the machinery.
The instructions must be clear, understandable and easy to follow. The instructions for consumer machinery must be written in a way that is understood by non-professional users, avoiding technical vocabulary. This requirement also applies to machinery that can be used by both professional and non-professional users.
The instructions should take not only the intended use of the machinery into account, but also its reasonably foreseeable misuse.
The instructions of the machinery must contain at least the following information:
- the business name and address of the manufacturer or its authorised representative
- the designation of the machinery
- the EC declaration of conformity or corresponding information, except for the serial number and the signature
- a general description of the machinery
- putting the machinery into service
- safe use of the machinery
- where appropriate, handling and transportation instructions
- maintenance and upkeep instructions
- where appropriate, information on the tools that may be fitted to the machinery
- where appropriate, ways in which the machinery must not be used
- where appropriate, information on the residual risks and the necessary personal protective equipment.
In addition, the instructions must include the information on noise emission and, where appropriate, on vibration emission. The detailed content of the instructions is defined in section 1.7.4 of annex I to the Machinery Decree.
Type C standards specific to a machinery type may include additional requirements for the instructions. Example: The EN 1494+A1 standard for jacks specifies that the instructions for the jack must also include a prohibition against working beneath a load that is supported by the jack alone.
Format of instructions
The Machinery Decree does not explicitly state that instructions must be provided in paper form, but as stated in the Guide to application of the Machinery Directive, it is generally accepted that all health and safety instructions must be provided with the machine in paper form. In addition to the paper instructions, the instructions can of course also be made available in electronic form, allowing the user to download the electronic version and retrieve the instructions again if the paper version is lost. This also makes it easy to update the instructions when required.
Who should take care of the instructions in Finnish and Swedish?
Where no original instructions (or EC declaration of conformity) exist for the machinery in the official language(s) of the country where the machinery is to be used (in Finnish and Swedish in Finland), a translation into that/those language(s) must be provided by the manufacturer or its authorised representative or by the party bringing the machinery into the language area in question. The translation must bear the word “translation”.
When importing the machinery to Finland, you must either obtain the Finnish and Swedish translations of the instructions and the EC declaration of conformity from the manufacturer or its authorised representative or otherwise translate the instructions or have them translated. In Finland, you maynot sell machines without instructions in Finnish and Swedish.
Watch the recording of Tukes’ I Know My Product webinar: Practical use of instructions and markings for consumer-operated machines: