Whole Body Access – How to keep operators safe

What is Whole Body Access?

Whole body access is any situation where an individual can be completely inside the perimeter of the safeguarded space. This could be intentional, for a particular task that requires access or part of foreseeable misuse if it is possible for someone to get inside the area. Resetting or restarting a machine while an operator is still inside is an incredibly dangerous situation. The relevant standard for prevention of unexpected restart is ISO 14118.

 

How to Protect Operators from Unexpected Restart

 

1. Have a clear and unobstructed view of the safeguarded space.

In small and uncluttered spaces this is often sufficient. Physical barriers to block any spaces where someone could be hidden can also help.

 

2. Use presence sensing devices such as laser scanners, safety mats or radar.

For small areas this can be very effective, for larger, more complicated spaces this is often infeasible due to cost and difficulty achieving full coverage.

 

3. Use proactive inhibit functions  See this article for a full description of inhibit functions

Give each operator personal control over when a machine is reset. Therefore the operators know the machine isn’t able to restart until they are back in a safe location.

 

4. Use reactive inhibit functions

Alongside an initiation warning system to alert anyone still inside the area, providing escape release or emergency stop functionality ensures anyone trapped is able to escape before the machine restarts.

 

Watch our short video for an overview of these steps.