Efficient Plant January 2018 - 37
Emergency-stop stations should be clearly visible. They're
commonly bright yellow with a red-pushbutton operator
that makes them easy to identify.
THE EMERGENCY-STOP pushbutton is a simple way to quickly
and completely freeze machine operation to prevent operator injury
and/or costly damage to a machine. However, according to information from AutomationDirect (automationdirect.com, Cumming,
GA), machines that can pose danger to operators typically require a
more thorough safety system. The company's automation experts have
some advice for those trying to determine if an emergency stop for a
machine or production line is needed, or how many emergency-stop
stations would be required and where they should be located.
- Jane Alexander, Managing Editor
For more information on wide range of automation strategies, products,
and related topics, go to automationdirect.com.
The first step is to consult OSHA (osha.gov) and other
applicable safety- and standards-related websites/sources regarding any mandates, recommendations, and
requirements for your specific area or industry. This
will help ensure you meet all safety requirements
that apply to your operations.
Once those compliance issues are clear, you can
begin considering your actual emergencystop needs. AutomationDirect's experts offered a
number of recommendations. Among them:
Carefully inspect all areas of your machines and production lines
to make clear assessments of areas where danger zones can be
identified. It's preferable for a safety expert or engineer to perform
When a risk area that can benefit from an emergency-stop station is
identified, ensure that the location is easily accessible by operators.
They must be able to quickly and effectively push the emergencystop pushbutton.
Emergency-stop stations should be clearly visible. They are commonly bright-yellow stations with a red-pushbutton operator that
makes them easy to identify. They should not be obstructed from
clear view in any way.
The emergency-stop pushbutton should be tied to a control system
that requires some type of system reset once the e-stop pushbutton
itself is reset. The control system ensures that all safety covers and
devices are in place and that resuming machine operation is safe.
REMEMBER: As noted in this edited version of information taken
from the AutomationDirect Library (library.automationdirect.com),
the above recommendations are just that: recommendations. You
are strongly encouraged to always follow local and national safety
requirements for the best-possible safety of workers and equipment.
(Read the complete article at library.automationdirect.com/emergency-stop-control-stations-one-push-can-save-your-life/.) EP