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Hazard prevention in automated factories.
Robot Eng 1986 Jul; 8(7):8-10
Prevention of robot related injuries and fatalities was discussed. In cases where fatalities occurred, each of the victims was well trained and experienced in both the operation of the robot and safety practices. Each victim entered the working range of the robot by either climbing over perimeter guards or overriding existing safeguards. Victims were struck from behind and pinned between the robot and a stationary fixture. A three fold scheme has been proposed by NIOSH to help avoid human injuries from robots. The scheme addresses the design of the workstation, the training of the worker, and the effort on management's part to provide safe working conditions. During workstation design, efforts are required to integrate the robot with its associated equipment. In particular, the use of fixed poles to block the movement of the arms of the robot should be avoided as they can create pinch points for humans. Safety rails, chains, or ropes were not adequate perimeter guarding. A safety fence of at least 6 feet in height was considered sufficient. A photoelectric sensing device could also be used, serving as a light curtain. Controls from which the robot could be operated should never to be located within the work envelope of the robot. Anyone expected to have any possible contact with the robot system should be trained in its complete operation and be fully knowledgeable about the safety precautions in place. It was recommended that management consider a systematic safety analysis of the robot application and workstation to ensure that no hazards are overlooked. Lockout and tagout procedures and control panel protection by qualified personnel during robot maintenance were also addressed.
Industrial-safety; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Industrial-hazards; Safety-education; Accident-prevention; Accident-analysis; Automation; Industrial-equipment
Issue of Publication
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division