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This is not required directly in generic safety standards or the Machinery Directive. However, EN 528 for rail dependent storage and retrieval equipment requires this.
In building construction this also is a requirement; doors in escape routes must always open toward the safe area (generally outward from a hazardous area or to the outside of the building).
For machinery this is a part of the risk assessment. Consider the following:
But what to do, if there is no space to allow the door to open to the outside?
Then there must be enough space inside the hazard zone to open the door safely and quickly toward the inside. Normally, sliding doors should not be used as escape doors. However, if there are space constraints such doors may have to be used and should then also be fitted with a lock or safety switch allowing escape release.
Plan for an escape route width of at least 650 mm (better 800 to 1000 mm). If it’s not possible for space constraints, you will need to install equipment allowing safe detection of persons inside the hazard zone. Such equipment must switch any hazard off when persons are detected inside (pressure-sensitive mats, laser scanners, etc.). Another alternative is to install safety switches including a key transfer system, that reliably prevents restart of the machinery, as long as any of the doors has not been locked from outside with the key.
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