NR -12 Safety Standards <br />(Safety at work, machinery and equipment)

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Safety in Machinery for Leather and Wastewater Treatment (in portuguese)

Safety in Machinery and Equipment for Footwear (in portuguese)


The NR12 Regulatory Standards is a legal instrument issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Brazil that regulates and provide guidance on mandatory procedures related to Health and Safety at Work .

NR12 establishes minimum requirements for the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases in machinery and equipment of all types, covering all the stages ranging from design to scrapping. It also discusses the stages of manufacturing, importing, marketing, display and transfer of property under any title and for all economic activities.

The noncompliance with these rules may result in notification, penalty and/or restraint/embargo of specific machine/equipment or the entire industrial park.

All items of this standard came into force in December 2012, which means that all the machines/equipment must be suitable from this date . This rule applies to those who manufacture, recondition or operate machinery and equipment .

Yes. The NR12 states that all kinds of machinery or equipment must be adequate to ensure worker’s safety. Therefore, the compliance also applies to machine tools used for manufacturing other machines.

Used machines must also comply with NR12, which means that the “reconditioner” is subject to the same legal penalties as the manufacturer that sells noncompliant equipment. This reconditioning requires a risk assessment of the machine based on which it is determined what safety features it will require.

This risk assessment can be performed as per ABNT NBR 14009 Standard, published in 2007, which shows how to elaborate this assessment (remembering that this work should be done by a legally qualified professional, a mechanical engineer certified by CREA – Regional Council of Engineering and Agronomy).

In the case of used equipment, one report must be issued for each machine. In the case of new machines, a report may include a certain group of machines, since this group does not contain differences in the security system -all system items must be absolutely identical, not even different brands of security systems are acceptable. In this case the engineer must provide a valid report for a particular model, describing in the report the numbers of the machines covering this series. For example: 10 cutting machines, each with a serial number (given by the manufacturer). If all these rockers have the same security system, the engineer will sign a report and list the 10 serial numbers corresponding to the 10 machines.

A photocopy is valid only for the case where the machines are part of the same series, and since the report features the number of the corresponding machine.

The company must hire a mechanical engineer who, after examining the equipment, will provide a technical report pointing out the adjustments the equipment needs. After checking these adjustments the engineer shall issue a safety report which certifies that the machine has the necessary adaptations to NR12.

Safety Standards vary from one country to another. So, when you purchase imported equipment, even if the manufacturer guarantees that it conforms to standard, they will probably be referring to the standard in the country of origin, certainly different from the Brazilian one.

In case the manufacturer purchases noncompliant equipment,  they are subject to notification when inspected by the Ministry of Labor. In case an employee gets hurt while dealing with the equipment, he/she can sue the company and the employer will be subject to civil and criminal prosecution in addition to the payment of compensation to the employee (depending on the accident, this payment can turn into life annuity).

The ART (Technical Responsibility Record) is required for any service rendered by engineers (a legally qualified professional). It states that the professional is properly registered and in good standing with CREA.

The machine as a whole must be adapted, considering the risk that the “reformer” runs in the event of an accident involving such equipment. The same machine should be evaluated by a qualified professional, who shall prepare a safety report and issue an ART.

The handbook Safety in Footwear Machinery, published by Abrameq and that proposes adjustments validated by the Ministry of Labor, is just advisory and features the minimum necessary adjustments for each analyzed equipment. The instrument (in this case, the handbook) does not waive or supersede the analysis of a professional qualified for signing the report.

This is the type of barrier that stands between the danger and the operator, remaining static in order to ensure the safety required. This type of protection is used when there is no operational need for worker intervention inside the machine. It can be fixed or mobile.

It is the kind of barrier positioned and fixed on the machine by means of screws, as its removal may be required for repair, lubrication or cleaning services.

It is the kind of barrier that moves at a given stage of the operation and is interposed between the operator and the danger zone, preventing access to a dangerous point during the critical period of operation. It is applied in operations that require opening the hazard area in every operating cycle of the machine.

This type of safety device has wide application in mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic presses the footwear industry use. Mechanically, electromechanically operated or with an even more complex operation, such as electronic monitoring of the trigger buttons, the goal is the same in all applications: keeping the operator’s hands busy and out of the danger zone during the operating step considered critical from the point of view of safety.

It is a system that cuts the electricity and interrupts the cycle of the machine or other equipment by opening a microswitch strategically installed. The most common example is perhaps the door of elevators, which interrupts the electrical circuit when the door opens and restores power when the door is closed again.

System consisting of optoelectronic sensors which consist of (invisible) infrared emitters and receivers that form barriers or curtains, according to what will be protected. The purpose is to prevent people from entering certain areas with connected equipment, or hands or fingers from being put into dangerous spots when the machine or other equipment is working.