Is the Escape release of guard locking compulsory?

Last edit: 20/06/2024

The Doubt

Is an Escape Release compulsory?

What is an Escape release?

Every time an Interlock with Guard Lock is installed, there is the issue that a person may be trapped inside the safeguarded area and not be able to exit, because the guard lock is in the locked position.

An Escape Release is, normally, a mechanical device that forces the opening of a Guard Lock

[ISO 14119: 2024] 3 Terms and definitions

3.28 escape release of guard locking

manual release without auxiliary means of the guard locking from inside the safeguarded space to leave the area

The new edition of ISO 14119 (paragraph 6.8 Whole Body Access) clarifies that there are 2 risks related of being trapped inside a safeguarded area:

  • The person may die after days of being inside because of lack of food and water
  • The person may be hit by a moving part, like a robot.

If the first risk is considered significant (for example if the person can be trapped inside a soundproof cabin), the standard recommends a few solutions:

  • application of personnel keys
  • escape release
  • use of interlock blocking devices


There is no obligation to install an Escape Release with each Interlock with Guard Lock. The risk assessment establishes if the risk of being trapped inside is present and, in case, 3 ways are recommended by ISO 14119.

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