e-stop guarding

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billk554

Member
can you put a shroud or guard around a palm type or mushroom style e-stop? nfpa 79 10.7.1 simply states it is needs to be readily accessible. who has dealt with this? thanks in advance.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
can you put a shroud or guard around a palm type or mushroom style e-stop? nfpa 79 10.7.1 simply states it is needs to be readily accessible. who has dealt with this? thanks in advance.

In our computer room we have an emergency stop button, with a clear plastic case velcroed around it. It's clearly visible, clearly marked for what it is, and anyone with a bit of sense will realize that you pull the cover out of the way and press the button.

We don't want someone leaning against the wall and the button at the same time!

One time we had a computer with a keyboard and monitor melded into the top. It was a walk-up console, at one end of the machine. And while standing at the console, you'd rest your right hand at the edge, and your fingers would dangle onto the main power switch. We used some of the magnetic cable covers the phone company used to use over the switch to prevent another accident.

I don't think our clear plastic e-stop cover was in place until several weeks after we moved into the building. I think that as long as the button is not hidden under an opaque cover there should be no issue.

Sometimes pushing a button accidentally is the biggest calamity!

ps-- I've seen e-stop buttons with a metal ring around them, as high as the top of the button. You have to -want- to push the button!
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I think every situation where you would use such switches will have it's own conditions and reasons why some methods may or may not be preferred.

If you have a E-stop on a boiler and in situation where you want to get out of room as quick as possible because you don't really know what is going on, you don't want to have to mess around figuring out how to activate that E-stop, you want to just slap it while passing by on the way out of the room. Other situations you may have more ability to think about what you are doing, some may not even be a true "E-stop", but rather a shrouded or other method of some protection of an ordinary stop switch. True E-stop usually needs additional actions to reset it.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
They're not electrical, but how are fire extinguishers in a glass/plastic case with the notice "In case of fire, break glass" handled-- readily accessible or just accessible??

Sometimes the little hammer is still at the end of the chain! :)
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Every mfr of E-stop buttons sells a variety of E-Stop guards for them. It's perfectly fine, in fact it is required in some instances. Do a Google search for "e-stop button guard" to see for yourself.

One I thought was cool from my past life was a thin clear plastic E-Stop cover sold by Moeller. It was kind of like stiff cellophane that broke when you pressed it. So it didn't really interfere with operating the E-Stop in an emergency, but it was a tell-tale indicator of which button was pressed if you had multiple buttons, such as on a long assembly line. Don't know if Eaton has continued selling that product line after they bought Moeller. You can accomplish the same thing by using one with a key cylinder in it that you have to use to reset the button, but those are more expensive.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
Our building has fire pull stations with a glass rod that breaks if you pull the handle. The rod has a score mark to make it easier to break (but it's only about 1/8" or so in diameter).
 

mrsafetyman

Member
Location
Buffalo NY
can you put a shroud or guard around a palm type or mushroom style e-stop? nfpa 79 10.7.1 simply states it is needs to be readily accessible. who has dealt with this? thanks in advance.
NFPA-79 does not allow shrouds around E-Stops. The palm of hand must be able to actuate when struck with palm. Maybe in Europe but US is governed by NFPA 79 and adopted by OSHA. A local paper mill was cited for shrouding all their EStops. The papermills also lost a 5.6 million dollar lawsuit form a family who sued for the loss of wages and career due to having shrouds around EStops. If there is a regulation, and you ignore the regulation/law with intent there can also be criminal charges the family can bring upon the company and whoever was involved. The insurance company dropped the papermill after the suit. Forget OSHA, IF it does happen, and you ignored the regulations with intent then you and the company will be held liable. Its easier to follow the laws in the US. I am a compliance person so presentation of NFPA 79 which OSHA adopts is consideration enough to remove any shroud. There is a significant amount of manufacturing equipment made in Europe who have their own standards. The key is to involve EHS early with machine purchases so they can check electrical, labeling, guarding and other applicable US safety machine standards.
 

mrsafetyman

Member
Location
Buffalo NY
I have installed E-Stops at marinas (for the fuel system) and put an in-use cover on it (it was clear). Everyone was happy with that.
Until the lawsuit occurs and the citations fly and the blame game begins when any incident occurs. Why are the rules intentionally ignored. They are there for a reason. You may think its cool, but if an incident occurred and someone was killed or seriously injured your insurance company, OSHA, Building and Fire Inspector and media will all be asking what happened. Who made the decision and why, Then why did you violate NFPA 79? on the subpoenas will be flying from the lawyers and the lawsuits begin. You will be included as I have been involved in 45 subpoenas over the years all relating to work related injuries and non compliance issues. Every case the employer lost due to violating legal requirements on both safety and environmental issues. Just make sure its not documented anywhere that you made the decision to violate the law.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
This thread is being closed because it has been dormant for 2 years.

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