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Emergency Stop Switches: A Comprehensive Guide

What is an Emergency Stop Switch?

Emergency Stop Switch is also called E-Stop Switch, Emergency Stop push button Switch or Emergency Safety Switch. It is a manually controlled push-type fault control button switch, In series on the circuit, it is used to quickly and safely disconnect the circuit in an emergency to prevent the equipment from continuing abnormal operation, providing safety protection for the equipment and the operator.

To activate the button just push it down and the circuit will break and the device will stop functioning. If you want to connect the circuit again, you need to rotate it clockwise about 45°, and the button will reset.

What is the difference between an emergency stop switch and an ordinary stop switch?

Functionally speaking, the emergency stop switch is a safety measure used to stop accidental injury caused by abnormal operation of equipment. The ordinary stop switch is used to control the normal operation and stop of the equipment.

In terms of appearance and color, emergency stop switches are usually in the shape of a large red mushroom head, which is clear and easy to identify. There are no requirements for the color of ordinary stop switches.

What is its Function?

An emergency stop switch is a safety mechanism used to shut down machinery when it cannot be shut down in the usual way or in emergency situations.

The SOP rules and regulations mention that you need to confirm whether the emergency stop switch is effective before starting the machine. In the workshop, especially some mechanical equipment that can directly or indirectly cause harm to the human body, emergency stop buttons must be installed as protection measures.

Why spend more money to install and use an emergency stop switch instead of turning off the main switch?

Dangerous accidents always happen in a short time. In such a short time, if the equipment is not stopped in time, it will cause damage to the machine and even threaten personal safety. The emergency stop switch is located closer to the main switch and is more eye-catching. The operating time can be reduced and serious accidents can be avoided later.

Safety Standard

International standards for emergency stop switches:

IEC 60947-5-5:1997+A1:2005+A2:2016

ISO 13850:2015

Emergency Stop Switch Type

There are four types of emergency stop switches: mushroom head emergency stop switch, pull rope emergency stop switch, key emergency stop switch and foot pedal emergency stop switch.

Mushroom head emergency stop switch: This switch button is mushroom-shaped and needs to be rotated to reset. This can prevent resetting due to accidental touch to a large extent.

Rope emergency stop switch: This switch is connected to a rope and is suitable for use in large and long-distance mechanical equipment and for workers who often move.

Key emergency stop switch: This type of switch requires a key to reset and is suitable for applications requiring a high degree of security.

Foot emergency stop switch: This switch is activated by foot operation. It is suitable for workers whose hands are busy, allowing them to stop the equipment immediately.


Emergency stop switches for workshops and factories: often used on heavy machinery such as conveyor belts, assembly lines, and presses to prevent potential consequences caused by equipment failure or worker safety risks.

Emergency stop switches for transportation systems: Control panels for equipment such as trains and buses. After a system failure or emergency occurs, the driver or operator can stop the vehicle in time.

Emergency stop switch for medical equipment: used on control panels of various medical equipment. Enables medical personnel to quickly and safely stop medical equipment during emergencies.

Emergency stop switch for amusement parks: used on some complex or dangerous rides, such as carousels, pirate ships, and Ferris wheels. This allows operators to quickly shut down the rides when they observe that guests are in danger.


Installation location: The emergency stop button needs to be installed in a conspicuous location and cannot be blocked. Emergency stop switches need to be accompanied by correct signs and instructions.

Operator training: Train operators to be familiar with the use of emergency stop switches, understand when to use emergency stop switches, and conduct regular tests to become proficient in operating procedures.

Regular testing: Since the machine works for a long time and the internal circuits are aging, it may cause short circuit faults. It will be too late to know after an emergency occurs. Therefore, regular testing is necessary, and problems need to be dealt with in time.

Emergency stop switch is damaged: If the emergency stop switch is damaged, do not attempt to repair or modify it. Stop using the equipment immediately and contact a professional for inspection.

Must all industrial machinery and equipment be equipped with emergency stop switches?

According to the regulations and requirements of different countries, regions and industries, emergency stop switches are required to be installed when operating dangerous industrial machinery and equipment, and they need to be installed in the most conspicuous position.

Can emergency stop switches be used to routinely stop equipment operation?

Emergency stop switches cannot be used to routinely stop equipment operation. Because the functions of the two are different, the stop device stops the corresponding control circuit, and the emergency stop is used in emergencies.

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