Without mechanical operation, electrosensitive protective equipment (ESPE) detects whether persons or body parts encroach into a protected field. ESPEs include sensors, such as safety light curtains, safety light barriers or safety laser scanners, for example.
In Germany, the basis for inspecting electrosensitive protective equipment (ESPE) is the hazard assessment in accordance with the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV).
The operator must define the periods/intervals between inspections. The inspection must be carried out by a competent person. This applies to initial commissioning, repair, assembly and also exceptional events, such as relocating a machine for example.
What determines the frequency of the ESPE inspections?
When defining the inspection periods, it is important to consider whether the work equipment (electrosensitive protective equipment) is exposed to conditions causing deterioration, which could compromise safety. The following criteria also influence the inspection period:
- Operating condition of the electrosensitive protective equipment (usage time per day, load)
- Manufacturers' guidelines
- Experience of the “failure mode” of the work equipment (ESPE)
- Incidence of accidents or accumulation of defects on comparable work equipment
- Wear and tear, on brakes for example (this influences the movement's reaction time, the time it takes for a hazardous movement to reach standstill)
We recommend a period of 1x per year for the inspection of each ESPE. Depending on the application and “hazard level” of the plant/machine, the inspection interval should be reduced to 1x every 6 months. There may also be other specifications for the inspection, due to specific technical regulations or similar, for example. In this case, comply with the inspection period stated there.
Who may inspect electrosensitive protective equipment?
In accordance with the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV), a competent person must carry out the inspections. Pilz GmbH and Co. KG, Ostfildern, operates an independent inspection body accredited by DAkkS in accordance with ISO 17020, which is able to inspect safeguards on plant and machinery.