Monday, July 21, 2014

Safety Mats


There are many types of presence sensing devices and they can be an important part of a safeguarding plan.  It’s important to note that presence sensing does not restrict access to a hazard, it just stops hazardous motion when an operator enters the hazard zone.  It’s important that they are designed and implemented correctly.  Let’s talk about a specific type of presence sensing, the safety mat.

Safety mats have a simple method of activation.  They are designed that when a specified minimum weight makes contact, they “close” and stop machine movement.  Safety mats are usually a series of sensor pads with a metal frame bolted around the perimeter.  Many pads when placed together form a larger mat mat

The CSA Standards outline performance requirements for safety mats.  For all presence sensing it’s important that they have a readily observable indication that they are operating.  Also the environment that they are placed in is important.  Environmental conditions shall not adversely affect the performance of the mat.  Dust can be one of the factors that can do this.  There is also a minimum object sensitivity for safety mats.  This should clearly be indicated in the documentation as to what the minimum is for that product.

The CSA Standards also outline application requirements for safety mats.  One of the most basic ones is that by stepping on the mat, machine function shall stop.  When an operator steps off the mat, there needs to be a deliberate action outside the hazard zone (a reset for example) before machine movement starts.  The mats need to be sufficient size and geometry to detect intrusion from all access.  You don’t want operators to be able to just reach over a mat and access the hazard.  They need to be securely mounted and the mounting perimeter shall not create a tripping hazard.  A ramped edge is often used to secure them.

These are not all, but some of the more important considerations when selecting safety mats in your safeguarding plan.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about safety mats.

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 10:40 AM 0 Comments
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