... what safety distances are necessary to protect the upper and lower limbs?


Upper limbs

  1. If the length of a slit-shaped opening is ≤ 65 mm, the thumb acts as a limit and the safety distance can be reduced to 200 mm.
  2. The dimensions of the openings e correspond to the side of a square opening, the diameter of a circular opening and the smallest dimension of a slot-shaped opening.
  • For openings > 120 mm, the safety distances must be applied when reaching over protective structures.
  • The thicker lines in the table delineate the part of the body that is constrained by the size of the opening.
  • All protective devices must be equipped and arranged in such a way that there is no change in the safety distances. The dimensions given have been determined on the assumption that no aids such as boxes, chairs or ladders are used to reach the hazardous point.
  • A risk assessment in accordance with DIN EN ISO 12100 must be carried out to determine the necessary safety distances.
  • If the table values for a, b or c are between two values, the values giving the higher safety level shall be applied.



Safety distances when reaching up





Before determining safety distances that prevent people from reaching hazardous areas, it is necessary to decide whether to use high or low risk values. Therefore, a risk assessment (see ISO 12100) must be carried out. Low risks only result from hazards, such as friction or abrasion, where long-term damage or irreversible damage to the body cannot be foreseen.

Low risk            High risk
h ≥ 2500 mm                 h ≥ 2700 mm

or other safety-related measures.


Lower limbs

  1. If the length of a slit-shaped opening is ≤ 75 mm, the safety distance can be reduced to ≥ 50 mm.
  2. The value refers to "toe to knee".
  3. The value refers to "toe to crotch".

Slotted openings with
e > 180 mm and square or circular openings with
e > 240 mm allow access of the whole body


Spacing to prevent free access through the lower limbs

An additional protective structure may be used to restrict free access of the lower limbs under existing protective structures. For this procedure, the distances given in this annex refer to the height from the floor or reference plane to the

protective construction. This method provides limited protection, in many cases other methods may be more appropriate.
Note: These clearances are not safety clearances and additional precautions may be required to limit access.


Obstruction of free movement under protective constructions

This table contains distances for special cases where lower limb access is impeded for the person remaining in an upright posture without any additional assistance.
Where there is a risk from slipping or misuse, the use of the values given in the table may be inappropriate.

No interpolation should be performed between the values in this table. If the height h to the protective structure is between two values, the distance for the higher value of h should be applied.






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