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materials & finishes show 2026

17 - 19 May 2026
NEC, Birmingham

Special Conditions for the Display of Machinery


Special Conditions for the Display of Machinery

Display and Demonstration Of Machinery


PLEASE NOTE: It is compulsory for all exhibitors planning to demonstrate their machinery to complete the Demonstration Notification Form  in advance of the event so that the Organiser can review and give permission of this. Exhibitors who do not give advance notice will not be permitted to demonstrate their machinery onsite.

PLEASE NOTE: The delivery of all large machinery must be scheduled in during build up. The first day of build-up (Wednesday 15 May) will be designated for the delivery of machinery and the installation of floorcovering only. The schedule for deliveries will be managed by our Official Lifting Contractor, ILS, and the NEC Traffic Department. Please contact ILS as soon as possible if you require the use of a forklift or crane at the exhibition.

International Lifting & Shipping Contact (ILS): 

Michal Blok
Click here for the Logistics Page (Password MFS24)​​​​​​​

IMPORTANT NOTICE ON HIABS & SPECIALIST LIFTING: - All lifting should be carried out by our Official Logistics Contractor, ILS. If exhibits can only be lifted by crane/hiab, this will be assessed on a case by case basis by the Organisers and ILS however please note this will only be permitted if there is no other reasonable lifting alternative available.

Please notify ILS of any lifting requirements as soon as possible, or before Friday 19 April.

Any authorised crane/hiab operation must be agreed and scheduled by ILS.

  • All new machines promoted at the exhibition shall be assumed to be offered for sale within the EU. As such, all machines need to display a CE or UKCA mark. Failure to display a CE or UKCA mark requires the exhibitor to place a clear notice on the machine that it may not be sold within the EU and the organisers reserve the right to request the removal of the machine.
  • Every machine is to be guarded in compliance with the requirements of the European Machinery
    Directive (89/392 as amended by 91/368/EEC) implemented in the UK by the Supply of Machinery
    (Safety) Regulations 1992. All such guards shall be considered normal for the operation of the machine in an industrial setting. Where guards are removed or made of special material for display purposes this should be indicated on the machine.
  • Stand plans are to show the location, size, in-feed and out-feed arrangements of all machines that are to be operational or semi-static at any time during the exhibition. Stand Plans along with the Construction Phase plan consisting of Risk Assessments, Method Statement and Welfare Form are are to be submitted online via the Compulsory Space Only Information Form no later than FRIDAY 8 MARCH.
  • Suitable and sufficient Risk Assessment and safe system for use for operational machine demonstrations must be available for inspection. All staff authorised to demonstrate machinery during the event must have signed the safe system of use to confirm their understanding of the required operating procedure.
  • All machines intended for demonstration need to be connected to a suitable operational waste extraction system, full details of which need to be submitted to the organisers. Failure to comply with this may result in the prohibition of such demonstrations.
  • Exhibitors have a duty to ensure that machines and equipment are used only for the purpose for which they were designed.
  • Any display equipment must satisfy the Safe use of woodworking machinery L114 ACOP in terms of stability, full details can be downloaded here; Where machines are not sufficiently stable as freestanding model’s exhibits are to be secured to the floor or other structure.  For information on fixing to the hall floor please contact
  • No machines shall be operated unless the required guards and safety devices are in position, properly and correctly adjusted and in full working order. A protective safety cover should be placed over the teeth of band saw blades in automatic band saw sharpening machines. When demonstrating such machines Exhibitors need to ensure that visitors are prevented from coming into contact with exposed band saw teeth.
  • Machines with exposed moving parts or cutters are to be protected by a suitable barrier around the parts or demonstration area.
  • Safety barriers shall be not less than 1.5m from the nearest danger point and of a height to prevent people reaching in. The Organiser may, at their absolute discretion, insist that a safety barrier is erected around any demonstration area or exhibit at the cost of the exhibitor.
  • Where machinery is being demonstrated adjacent to an aisle the Organiser may require that a fixed barrier one metre high shall be erected along the front of the exhibition stand at the cost of the exhibitor.
  • Suitable emergencies stop controls are required to be available at each machine and clearly marked, visible and easily accessible.
  • No safety device of any type should be by-passed or otherwise be prevented from carrying out its intended function.
  • Exhibitors are responsible for ensuring that machine operators and those involved in any demonstrations are suitably trained and qualified. They should also be provided with adequate protective equipment and work wear.
  • Visitors to the exhibition are not permitted to operate machinery or take part in demonstrations.
  • If machinery being demonstrated includes lasers then the Organiser must be notified no later than 28 days prior to the event as the NEC requires additional paperwork to be completed.
  • All sources of power to and from the machines including electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic should be provided with a local isolator which should be switched off when the machine is not being demonstrated.
  • A clear, approved safety grade polycarbonate screen of a suitable height to act as a barrier should be positioned between the demonstrator and the visitor when carrying out demonstrations with any nailing or stapling tool. Users of such tools should also wear suitable personal protective equipment.
  • Where electrical power is to be connected to machines or other equipment the Exhibitor must submit to the Organisers and the Electrical Contractor (Human Built) a plan of their stands indicating the location and power requirement in each case. Exhibitors have a duty to ensure that machines, apparatus, and equipment incorporating pre-wired units comply with the venue regulations before they are installed on the stand.
  • Portable electrical equipment shall be used with the minimum of trailing leads and NOT be left unattended. No electrical cables are allowed to cross gangways, passageways or emergency exits.
  • Machinery is required to include adequate dust and waste extraction systems to meet safety and environmental regulations.
  • Dust extraction systems need to incorporate ATEX compliant dust explosion relief and should normally be sited outside, away from areas where there may be people. If units have to be indoors, precautions will depend on the size of the collector; the size and construction of the room it is in; the number of people nearby; and how near they are to walkways and combustible materials. Please refer to the HSE guidance on the fire and explosion hazards of wood dust which can be downloaded from when planning your demonstration.
  • To minimise the deposition of dust a minimum conveying velocity of 20m/s should be ensured. Fans are to be kept running for a brief period after machines have been switched off in order to clear the ductwork.
  • Flexible ducting of all types are required to be earthed.
  • Dust hoppers and bags need to be emptied each evening and waste removed from the hall without delay.  The organisers have arranged for a production waste skip only in the loading bay for all exhibitors to use. This skip will be monitored to ensure only production waste is put into the skip.  At the end of the show all waste needs to be removed from the hall.  Please see Cleaning under the General Information Section if you require details for hiring bins or skips.
  • Timber used for demonstration purposes are to be checked for metal foreign objects to eliminate the risk of sparks.
  • Where ducting crosses gangways it has to be no less than 3.5 metres above the hall floor. It may not carry signage or promotional material of any kind. All dust and waste extraction systems over 4m in height are required to be set back 0.5m from the open perimeter of the site.
  • Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems and airflow: Whilst there is not a specific legal requirement to fit air-flow indicators you are required by law to ensure that your LEV system is suitably maintained. A simple means of checking that the flowrate is maintained is the use of air–flow indicators at the hood. An air-flow indicator is currently the only method that will show the operator immediately when a problem occurs. (HSE’s LEV Guidance HSG 258(1) recommends that these are fitted). As an LEV Exhibitor you need to ensure that visitors are advised of all of the options available with your product.
  • Single Bag Extraction Units/Unenclosed Sock Collectors – PLEASE NOTE: As detailed within the HSE Information Sheet No.32 “These would quickly disintegrate if the contents were ignited but would not produce high explosion pressures or widespread effects. Fire risks may exist, so if unenclosed, ensure the following is applied;
  • Under no circumstances may Machine Tables, including moveable / sliding tables when demonstrating operational or semi-static machines are allowed to project over the stand space taken by the Exhibitor. In such cases, tables are to be locked in position to prevent this taking place during demonstrations.
  • The use of Air Lines for the blowing down of exhibitor’s machinery during the event open period (including airlines that are fitted to machinery) is strictly prohibited by the HSE.
  • No hand brushing of wood dust waste is permitted.  Class M/H Specification portable LEV cleaners are to be used.
  • Exhibitors are advised to consider provision of suitable 1st aid needs and equipment on their stand as part of their risk assessment.

  • Exhibitors and their Contractors should ensure that they are aware of the location of the first aid facilities whilst working onsite.
  • CNC Routers/Machining Centre – exhibitors are required to ensure that machines are guarded to prevent access to all dangerous areas of the machine. To protect exhibitors and visitors, extra guarding maybe required to prevent workpiece ejection, accidental contact with cutting areas, tool changers, which could include perimeter fencing/ barriers. CNC Machines are currently a concern with the HSE so please contact the organisers should you be wishing to use one.
  • Noise – exhibitors have a responsibility to ensure noise levels are kept as low as possible during all periods of the exhibition. Exhibitors are asked to consider all aspects of their machinery/equipment to ensure there is not unreasonable noise produced, taking into account staff, neighbouring exhibitor and visitors. For additional information, please see HSE WIS 13.

The HSE will likely be visiting the exhibition. Please see on the following page HSE guidance on the exhibition of machinery; For further information contact


What should you know and do…

Most product supply legislation (e.g. Regulation 3(2)(b) of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008) permits in restricted circumstances the exhibiting of non-compliant products. This is provided adequate measures have been taken to ensure that it does not harm any person at the event including those demonstrating the product. Also required is a suitable notice displayed with the product saying that the product will be brought into compliance prior to any supply. The notice must comply with the requirements of the relevant UK regulations.

Machinery which is not being operated will not usually present many hazards at exhibitions, although suitable safety measures should still be taken (e.g. to ensure stability, prevent falls from any access, contact with sharp edges, etc.). Where the product is being demonstrated the requirements of PUWER, LOLER and other use legislation (e.g. Electricity at Work Regulations, COSHH, etc.) must be met, for example: by guarding dangerous parts, checking any lifting equipment is safely installed, making safe and secure electrical connections, preventing harm from hazardous fumes, etc.

The necessary measures for safety and health during trade fairs, exhibitions and demonstrations should be determined by undertaking a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. This must take into account the exhibition / demonstration environment, including any health and safety rules which the host organisation may impose, and the people (including in some cases children) that will be present, who may be unfamiliar with the hazards presented by the equipment on display.

Action from Exhibitors

In relation to LEV systems, you are to ensure compliance by physical means and risk assessment.  You have a duty of care to ensure all persons are protected in the event of explosion / fire.

Further HSE guidance on the fire and explosion hazards of wood dust is contained in the HSE Wood Information Sheet (WIS 32) which can be downloaded free of charge from this HSE link -

HSE are always present at the exhibition and are always looking for compliance.  LEV/Dust control will have a bigger agenda this year as HSE have been concentrating on this area with pro-active inspections in the sector and it is likely this will continue. Since the 17th of January 2020, the Working Exposure Level for wood dust (Hardwood and Mixed Dust) has been reduced from 5mg to 3mg per m3. 

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Materials & Finishes Show 2024 is now finished

After four busy days, the doors to Materials & Finishes Show 2024 are now closed. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2026!