Emergency Stop Devices | Hasmate Health and Safety
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Emergency Stop Devices

Emergency Stop Devices

It used to be normal for workers to wear ties to work, no matter the job.

Thankfully, it is not now.  There are too many stories about workers whose ties were caught in a set of rollers and other machinery, before emergency stop devices were the norm.

And by now, they should be the norm for all businesses in New Zealand with machinery, but the lack of installed emergency stop devices on machinery is becoming far too prevalent.

A recent WorkSafe media release – click here – highlights another case of blatant neglect that resulted in an employee losing fingers. This same company had been sentenced over two incidents, six months apart, in which workers had their hands disfigured.

This case raises the serious subject of the importance of installing safety guards on machines, but also emergency stop devices (whether red-buttoned, or pedal, or lines, etc.), and lock out systems.

Emergency Stops

Question – Emergency stop devices – where do they have to be installed?

Answer – Immediately adjacent to, in an arm’s length, or an easy reach position for any employee who is operating an machine or device that has the actual or potential of creating an:

  • Entrapment, or crushing of limbs;
  • Amputation, or an employee becoming trapped in the machine;
  • Burns;
  • Electric shock;
  • Scalding;
  • Pressurized fluid injection injuries; and/or
  • Other impacts that will create harm or injury to an employee.

The key wording here is “Adjacent to the machine and in an arm’s length or easy reach position for the employee to quickly access“.

With this in mind, has your business:

  • Undertaken an assessment of any machinery or equipment that could or has the potential to fall into the seven categories above? (This should have been included in the initial hazard and risk assessment of the machine).
  • Is this assessment also undertaken for all new machinery (secondhand machinery as well) introduced into the workplace?
  • Installed emergency stop devices?
  • Trained your employees in the safe use of the machinery, the emergency stop devices, and the lock out procedures?

Some useful WorkSafe links:

We hope this provides a starting point to reduce the level of accidents caused by lack of emergency stop devices and machine guarding, and to protect your business and its employees.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.