Q: What motivated Brady to develop these safety covers?
A: At Brady Corporation, we receive many of our new product ideas from our customers. Our team continually fields questions regarding what could be used to effectively secure exposed equipment operating and emergency stop (e-stop) buttons.
In the U.S., OSHA explains that control circuit-type devices such as these are not energy isolating devices for purposes of its CFR 1910.147 Lockout Standard.
However, facilities in all countries and industries commonly desire this extra measure of security, in addition to their established power circuit lockout methodologies.
Brady’s Twist and Secure safety covers can be used in this way to ensure that a control button is not inadvertently activated or an e-stop button is returned to its passive, non-engaged state.
Q: How are these covers different from similar types on the market today?
A: Our push button and e-stop safety covers are designed so that the low-profile base stays securely fastened underneath the control button.
The cover is normally removed by a simple 45-deg counterclockwise turn to allow for unrestricted access to the control buttons during normal operation.
The same cover can subsequently be brought to any standard 16 or 22-mm International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) or National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) control button for which the Twist and Secure base has already been installed. A larger size is also available to secure 30-mm control buttons.
Q: What problems needed to be addressed during the development process?
A: Development of the product was relatively seamless. We had to determine the appropriate cover sizes and develop a base that could easily attach under the control buttons on the machinery.
The product initially launched with semi-transparent, red covers (red to signify safety or caution). Some customers subsequently requested untinted, transparent covers so they could best confirm the position of the covered button, especially in lower-light conditions. In response, we introduced the clear cover Twist and Secure line extension this year.
Q: How long did it take from conception to ultimate production?
A: This was a relatively quick development project, with design and production completed in a 12-month timeframe.
Q: What effect did cost factors have in changing the final design of this product?
A: Cost concerns really weren’t an issue with this particular product. Of greater concern was designing a product that would provide both a visual and physical barrier to the operating buttons, and which satisfied the identified safety and convenience needs of our customers.
Q: Who is your target audience and what benefits will they achieve from using these products?
A: These products have broad-based appeal for both production and plant-operating equipment in facilities across many industries. The easy one-time installation of the bases and simple twist-on/twist-off action of the covers facilitate easy and consistent use.
Q: Do you have any other interesting information you would like to add?
A: Pushbutton safety covers secure equipment control circuitry, rather than the equipment power circuit. That power circuit distributes power from the main electrical disconnect to the motor.
Brady recommends that circuit breaker panel and switch lockout devices be used to isolate the power circuit equipment energies to maintain compliance with OSHA. Brady offers a comprehensive line of electrical lockout devices to effectively secure all primary global brands, makes, and models of circuit breaker and energy-isolation switches.
See the full product description for the Twist and Secure Push Button and E-Stop Safety Covers.