Manual reset using an HMI

Update: Things have changed a bit since this post was first published in 2021. There are now some safety-rated HMIs available from big controls companies like Siemens, so if you are considering this approach, consult with your controls vendor to see if their HMIs can meet the requirements of ISO 13849-1. Ed. – 2022-05-10

An ABB HMI showing some graphical objects representing control functions and data.

Question: Can a safety-related stop function, for example, be reset via a graphical object representing a reset button on an HMI?

The short answer: No, with an exception. Read on if you’d like to know more.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the manual reset function, see our previous post on the manual reset function.

Why not?

Why can’t manual reset actuators appear on HMI screens? There are a few reasons for this.

First, ISO 13849-1 [1] requires that manual reset actuators be separate control devices connected to the SRP/CS. The point could be made that an HMI is a separate device; however, as of this writing, no HMIs are designed to connect to a Safety PLC.

Second, [1] requires that components used for the manual reset function not reduce the Performance Level (PL) of the safety function. Since there are no safety-rated HMIs, the only structural category that could be assigned to an HMI-PLC combination is Category B, a single-channel architecture using components rated for the circuit conditions. This structural category limitation means that the highest PL that could be assigned would be PL=b. Emergency stop functions must provide at least PL=c performance according to ISO 13850, so an HMI-based reset cannot be used with emergency stop functions. In addition, most industrial machines will require at least PL=c, d or e for their safety-related interlocks, so an HMI-based manual reset cannot be used to reset an interlock stop function.

Finally, the large controls component manufacturers, like Rockwell Allen-Bradley, Omron, Pilz, Schmersal, Siemens, Telemecanique, etc., do not recommend the practice for the reasons discussed.

PS – I mentioned in the video that rising edge signals are not used for the Manual Reset Function – in truth, rising edges are not used for safety-related signals. Rising edges can occur more readily due to electrical faults, while falling edges are much less likely. For example, a falling edge generated by an electromechanical push button requires that the button be pushed and released, which helps avoid intentional defeat through a “tie-down” button.


If you are unsure how to proceed with functional safety or ISO 13849, check out our FS101 course. This course will teach you how to proceed:

  • with a review of machinery risk assessment
  • developing the Safety Requirement Specifications
  • analyzing your design
  • developing the validation documentation, and
  • developing the validation test procedure

This course is suitable for control systems designers and engineers. If you have a CMSE designation or equivalent, and you’re still not feeling confident about how to use ISO 13849, this course will work for you too. The course includes a review of machinery risk assessment according to ISO 12100. Our RA101 course will give you the needed expertise if you have never had risk assessment training.


[1] Safety of machinery — Safety-related parts of control systems — Part 1: General principles for design, ISO 13849-1. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva. 2015.

[2] Safety of machinery — Emergency stop function — Principles for design, ISO 13850. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva. 2015.

[3] Realizing Reset Function in Safety Related Parts of Control Systems, 1st ed. Hoofddorp, Netherlands: OMRON Europe B.V., 2015.

© 2021 – 2022, Compliance inSight Consulting Inc. Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

4 thoughts on “Manual reset using an HMI

    1. I looked at the website you suggested, and I think it’s important to reproduce a bit of the text from that site here so I can comment on it directly. Note that I have added bolding to highlight some key points:

      The requirements on a reset function to be provided through a separate device indicates that an HMI is not allowed since the HMI can have a lot of other functions as well. There is also a requirement to have good visibility of the danger zone when performing the reset, which is not always true for HMIs. Hence we recommend to use a separate push-button for the reset function.

      The requirements of the reset function not diminishing the performance level of the safety function should be handled by triggering on the release of the reset button (falling flank), which can also be seen in the requirement to only accept reset by disengaging the actuator from its energized position. We also recommend to monitor the length of the positive signal from the reset button, to ensure that it is long enough not to just be a glitch, and short enough not to be stuck. In Pluto Safety PLC these requirements are met using the ready-made function blocks with reset.

      In order to make an exception and use an HMI for the manual reset function, the HMI must be placed so that it provides the operator with good visibility of the danger zone, and the reset signal should be handled by a function block in Pluto Safety PLC.

      So, while it is possible to handle a manual reset safety function that uses a reset signal generated by an HMI graphic, it is generally recommended that an electromechanical reset device be used to initiate the reset, even by companies like ABB that offer devices that can provide the functionality.

  1. Interesting video! You mentioned that the manual reset should be connected to a safe input. I discovered that Beckhoff has published an example of a PLd rated emergency stop with the reset button connected to an unsafe input. How is this possible? Have I misunderstood their example or have they just interpreted ISO 13849-1 differently?

    Their example can be found on page 15 in the document “Application Guide TwinSAFE” (

    1. Hi Andreas,
      The question is this: Is there an unsafe failure mode for the reset? If the answer is yes, then the reset should be connected to a safe input, but if a failure in the reset safety function does not lead to an unsafe condition, then you might choose to use an standard input. It’s all in the results of the risk assessment and the subsequent definition of the safety function in the safety requirements specification.

    2. Hi Andreas,
      I think if you check that document again, you’ll see this is a ‘restart’ input, not a ‘reset’ input if I’m not mistaken. Different functions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.