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What do the colours of pushbutton heads typically represent?

The colour coding for pushbutton control devices used on machines can be defined according to standard IEC 60204-1: 1997, 'Safety of Machinery', section 10 paragraph 10.2.1 and table 2 Page 50.
In the case that IEC 60204-1: 1997 is applicable, please see below an extract from the standard. Always refer to the standard for full information and to check for any amendments that may have taken place since this information was published.


Push-button actuators shall be colour coded in accordance with table 2 on page 50 of the standard.

The colours for START/ON actuators should be WHITE, GREY or BLACK with a preference for WHITE. GREEN is also permitted. RED shall not be used.

The colour RED shall be use for emergency stop and emergency switching off actuators.

The colours for STOP/OFF actuators should be BLACK, GREY or WHITE with a preference for BLACK. GREEN shall not be used. RED is also permitted, but it is recommended that RED is not used near an emergency operation device.

WHITE, GREY or BLACK are the preferred colours for push-buttons actuators that alternately act as START/ON and STOP/OFF push-buttons. The colours RED, YELLOW or GREEN shall not be used (see also 9.2.6 of the standard).

WHITE, GREY or BLACK are the preferred colours for push-buttons actuators that cause operation while they are actuated and cease the operation when they are released (e.g. hold-to-run). The colours RED, YELLOW or GREEN shall not be used.

Reset push-buttons shall be BLUE, WHITE, GREY or BLACK. Where they also act as a STOP/OFF button, the colours WHITE, GREY or BLACK are the preferred with the main preference being BLACK. GREEN shall not be used.

 

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