Unexpected Motion Hazard Exposures on a Large Robotic Assembly System.
To assess the degree of unexpected motion hazard exposure among robot maintenance personnel, a data collection and analysis project was carried out using information from a large manufacturing company. Maintenance actions involving robot systems on an assembly line for a 5 month period were reviewed, using a computer generated list of logged maintenance actions. Task types were identified; drive power availability and robot work envelope entry were indicated. Potential exposure times were analyzed using the LIFETEST computer program. Based on the results, the manufacturer should consider periodically reviewing safe robot system troubleshooting procedures with maintenance personnel. Such reviews should highlight: (1) hazardous pinch points to avoid, (2) safe procedures to use if interlocks are bypassed, and (3) vigilance against inadvertent use of manual restart switches. An investigation should be undertaken of ways to ensure effective energy control during actions done inside a workcell's safety perimeter with power available to the robot. A maintenance hazard exposure baseline should be obtained and used to compare contemplated changes in system design. Provisions should be made to allow maintenance personnel to log safety concerns. The type of robot application should be considered as a factor in epidemiology studies of risks associated with robotics.
NIOSH-Author; Automation; Safety-research; Safety-engineering; Robotics; Human-factors-engineering; Maintenance-workers;
NTIS Accession No.
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia, 9 pages, 8 references