Emergency stop devices: the risks of installer liability

Alex D'Arcy, Sales Director at Hylec-APL, provides an insight into the current legislation relating to safety of electrical equipment, and explains how installers who fail to specify suitable components could be at risk.

Emergency stop devices are an essential safety requirement for almost any electrical application operating in the public, industrial or commercial domain, such as escalators, large machinery and commercial plant vehicles. Such a safety-critical device understandably is governed by legislation to make sure that it is suitable for the job in hand. So what are the risks of failing to install suitable Emergency Stop functions, and who could be found liable in the event of injury caused by component failure?

Found in any industry - including manufacturing, commercial and retail - emergency stop devices are not only important to the safety of the machinery and people. Furthermore, several 'E-stops' may be required on a single machine, as they are commonly required to be mounted as frequently as every 2m along the production line.

Health and safety in the workplace is at the forefront of developments in modern machinery, and there is a raft of regulations and directives from a number of sources that must be implemented by machinery manufacturers as well as those using the equipment. Amongst all the 'red tape' lies the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and the European Standard BS EN ISO 13850:2008 Safety of machinery. Emergency stop. Principles for design, which replaced EN 418. These documents define the specific requirements for emergency stop devices and actuators.

Equipment destined for use within the European Union must meet the requirements of the European Machinery Directive, which includes BS EN 13850 (EN418). First, Annex I of the Directive states "Machinery must be fitted with one or more emergency stop devices to enable actual or impending danger to be averted." This is accepted as meaning that all machines require an emergency stop unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances where the risks cannot be controlled effectively with an emergency stop, or if the risk would be increased or new risks would be introduced by the action of an emergency stop system.

Specific requirements for emergency stop devices

For the majority of cases requiring an E-stop, BS13850 (EN418) defines the specific requirements for emergency stop devices and actuators, which are summarised as follows:

  • All Emergency OFF devices must be 'self-latching' (maintained) devices. With regard to an E-Stop, this means it must be either a twist-to-release, pull-to-release or key-to-release device
  • The latching mechanism must be engaged prior to the electrical contact change-of-state to avoid a momentary OFF signal
  • All devices must have a 'mushroom' head that is red in colour
  • The background immediately surrounding the Emergency OFF device must be yellow in colour
  • All Emergency OFF devices must have positive opening operation. This means there must be a direct mechanical link between the operation of the mushroom head and the contacts to drive the electrical contacts open. This protects against a potentially unsafe condition should the contacts weld. A spring action contact does not comply with this requirement
  • The devices must not be reset automatically; manual reset is a requirement

The main concept of the standard is that emergency stop switches must have a 'fool-proof' capability. Such an emergency stop device incorporates a latching mechanism that is activated when the actuator of the device is operated to a certain point. This latching mechanism prevents the actuator from being pulled back out again; it also ensures that the contacts will not be opened prematurely. The method by which the actuator is reset must be clearly indicated by arrows which are marked on the actuator or associated legend plate.

Resetting the electrical system can only be done by first releasing the E-Stop that was originally activated. If E-Stops were activated at multiple locations, all of them must be released before the machinery can be restarted. It should be noted that resetting E-Stops does not in itself restart the machinery; it only permits restarting through normal procedures appropriate for the machinery involved.

Who is responsible for emergency stop devices?

The duty of care to ensure that all machinery complies with these regulations, and that proper risk assessments have been carried out for each piece of equipment and appropriate safeguards installed, falls upon a number of people. Obviously the owner of the machinery and site managers must make sure that all equipment is suitably equipped and that all operators are fully trained. But also the machine builder, or electrical installer, who specified the E-Stop component is deemed to be responsible for ensuring that it uses components that are suitable under European legislation. Failure to do so could lead to a judgement of negligence should a failure of the component lead to injury or death.

In order to help manufacturers, employers and installers to meet these safety requirements Hylec-APL has developed a range of control stations and pushbuttons, including a number of components that comply with the requirements of BS EN 13850. Available as complete control stations or as individual components for mounting in panels, the range of emergency stop buttons and accessories are rated to IP56.

Proper safeguarding

Emergency stop devices are not a replacement for proper safeguarding or automatic safety devices, just as an employee would not be expected to rely on PPE (personal protective equipment) as the foremost protection from danger. Rather, they should be used as a back-up measure that provides manual override of operations in the event that a hazard presents itself. Furthermore, the activation of the emergency stop should not impair the effectiveness of other safety devices fitted to the equipment.

Ensuring that all E-Stop components conform to BS EN 13850 requirements is the joint responsibility of the machinery manufacturer/installer and the owner and operator of the machine. However, component suppliers should be able to assist in the selection of suitable products. Good suppliers will be knowledgeable about the legislation and will be able to provide evidence that their components meet all the requirements.

Follow the link for more information about emergency stop devices from Hylec APL.

Hylec-APL Ltd

6 Stanton Close
Finedon Road Industrial Estate
Wellingborough
NN8 4HN
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1933 234400

sales@hylec-apl.com

www.hylec-apl.com

More from Hylec-APL Ltd

Terminal blocks cope with high-temperature applications

Posted 1 year ago

Steatite high-temperature ceramic terminal blocks from Hylec-APL

Posted 1 year ago

Hylec launches TLM Series screwless PCB terminal blocks

Posted 2 years ago

Hylec celebrates Debox S and SL in line junction box success

Posted 2 years ago

See new terminal blocks, fuse holders and IP67 isolators

Posted 2 years ago

Hylec-APL to show PCB board hardware at Southern Manufacturing

Posted 2 years ago

Hylec's new PCB terminal block range in the latest catalogue

Posted 2 years ago

Submersible connections from Hylec at LuxLive

Posted 2 years ago

New online and print catalogue now available from Hylec

Posted 3 years ago

Win a track day with Hylec at Electrical Design & Install Expo

Posted 3 years ago

Hylec's success prompts move to expanded facilities

Posted 3 years ago

HALO lectures to apprentice electricians hailed success

Posted 3 years ago

TeePlug TH381 micro-connector is completely submersible

Posted 3 years ago

Hylec to show professional ranges at Elex, Manchester

Posted 3 years ago

Hylec-APL and Edmundson Electrical Ltd sign commercial agreement

Posted 3 years ago

New IP-67 rated ISOLATOR switch boxes from Hylec

Posted 3 years ago

HYLK Kwik Lever connectors have lever-spring clamp action

Posted 3 years ago

DNCB range DIN rail mounting enclosures have snap-on kits

Posted 4 years ago

Hylec-APL appoints Steve Robbins as Sales Director

Posted 4 years ago

Hylec-APL IP66 DN junction box enclosures with 35mm DIN rail

Posted 4 years ago

Maintenance-free DEDS Series lockable IP66 IK10 Steel enclosures

Posted 4 years ago

New size DED series rugged IP65 door enclosures from Hylec-APL

Posted 4 years ago

Economical IP66 DN Enclosure/Junction box range from Hylec-APL

Posted 4 years ago

Strong, cost-effective DIN rail PCB housing supports

Posted 4 years ago

Rugged IP65 door enclosures need no hidden extras

Posted 5 years ago

Cable glands seal to IP68 yet only need access from one side

Posted 5 years ago

Techno cable connector protects against water ingress

Posted 5 years ago

RETO data and server cabinets are easy to install

Posted 5 years ago

M20 20mm diameter venting elements prevent internal condensation

Posted 5 years ago

Stay connected with Hylec-APL's compact IP68 connectors

Posted 5 years ago

Hylec-APL offers modular DIN rail-mounted PCB housings

Posted 5 years ago

In-line junction box slashes installation time and cuts costs

Posted 5 years ago

Hylec-APL control stations available in store at Maplin

Posted 5 years ago

Protect against hidden costs with Hylec-APL door enclosures

Posted 6 years ago

Enclosures can breathe easy with Hylec-APL venting elements

Posted 6 years ago

Hylec-APL enjoys busy Seawork International Exhibition

Posted 6 years ago

Specification advice for cable glands and enclosure accessories

Posted 6 years ago

Hylec-APL welcomes Mark Severn to the role of Director of Sales

Posted 6 years ago

Hylec-APL fused terminal blocks help to keep the lights on...

Posted 6 years ago

Hylec-APL offers pre-installed IP67 control stations

Posted 6 years ago

Hylec-APL offers IP68 waterproof connections

Posted 6 years ago

Hinged door enclosures offer reduced installation times

Posted 6 years ago

Quick-to-install three-way weatherproof connectors

Posted 6 years ago

CPC extends range of Hylec-APL products

Posted 7 years ago

Compact connector for all-weather advertising signs

Posted 7 years ago

Hylec-APL weatherproof connectors give underwater peace of mind

Posted 7 years ago

Connector specification problems for external lighting solved

Posted 7 years ago

Hylec-APL launches smallest IP68 junction box

Posted 8 years ago

Hylec-APL launches new range of DIN Rail Mounted PCB enclosures

Posted 8 years ago

"˜Kwik-Snap' terminal blocks can reduce on-site installation time

Posted 8 years ago

TEEPLUG offers quick and compact IP68 plug and socket connection

Posted 8 years ago

Compact crimped PCB connectors save cost

Posted 11 years ago

Customisable PCB housings mount directly on DIN rail

Posted 11 years ago

Compact junction boxes provide rapid IP68 protection

Posted 11 years ago

IP68 Teetube connector accepts cables up to 17mm

Posted 11 years ago

Cable connectors and junction boxes are sealed to IP68

Posted 12 years ago

New source for super-bright, high-power LEDs

Posted 12 years ago

Beware of changing regulations for electrical equipment

Posted 12 years ago

More technical articles
17 hours ago
Last few places on Machinery Safety Course
Just a handful of places remain available on the last Pilz City & Guilds accredited Machinery Safety Course in 2020. Diary date is December 14th to 17th
20 hours ago
Camozzi Automation launches new quick exhaust safety valves
Designed to provide a plug and play solution for OEMs that need to be compliant with Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, Camozzi Automation says that its new quick exhaust 2-way safety valve range also complies with ISO 13849-1 covering the safe design of control systems which perform safety functions
20 hours ago
SICK’s Open Service for IO-Link function blocks
A new open software service for control systems has been introduced by SICK
3 days ago
Automatic bearing lubrication brings ore inspiring results in mining
By installing automatic lubricators for bearings on its conveyor drive motors and belt pulleys, an opencast mine in Hungary has seen a range of benefits, including the prevention of unplanned downtime, longer bearing life and reduced repair work
3 days ago
Kinoulton company conveys COVID-combating masks
Here's a great example of the germ of an idea resulting in the combating of COVID
3 days ago
FLIR Systems announces four new Exx-Series handheld thermal imaging cameras
New E96, E86, E76 and E54 models feature enhanced thermal resolution and provide on-camera routing capability for more efficient inspections
4 days ago
New C-Mount lenses bring focus for machine and system builders
IDS now offers more than 20 new C-mount lenses with resolutions of 5, 8 and 10 MP as well as different focal lengths and optical classes
4 days ago
Backup DC motor for two rolling mill applications
Menzel Elektromotoren has built a replica of an old DC motor for a large German steel strip manufacturer
4 days ago
Distributed safety systems webinar 30th October 0930
In this webinar Pilz UK Product Manager David Collier will examine the state-of-the-art technology available to meet the demands of decentralisation
4 days ago
New narrow FeedThrough connectors save panel space
New from Cliff Electronics is the SLIMS FeedThrough Connector range, designed and manufactured in the UK