According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations (OSHA), all manufacturers and employers must deploy appropriate safety measures to minimize the risk of harm to workers engaged in industrial robotic manufacturing.
This is not only a matter of legal responsibility, but it is also a moral imperative to make sure that a cutting-edge technology such as robotic manufacturing does not pose a threat to the safety of the workers.
Critical Safety Conditions for Robotic Manufacturing Operations
Robotic Mechanism in Normal Mode
While operating the robot mechanisms in normal mode, following safety conditions should be kept in mind:
- No personnel should be allowed manual or physical access to the areas where robots and peripheral equipment are engaged in conducting automatic movements. The field of movement and the processing areas must be safeguarded so that no person accidentally enters while the machines are in motion.
- Sufficient cover of protection must be in place so that flying tools or work gears do not cause damage.
- No personnel must be wounded by the energy emissions or tools cast out by the robot, due to defective work-pieces, out-of-order grippers, gripper power failure, collisions, or unacceptable speed.
- No personnel must be wounded by energy emissions or tools cast out by the peripheral equipment.
- The feed and removal slots must be designed in such a way that manual or physical access to the areas rendered dangerous due to automatic movements is not needed.
Robotic Mechanism in Special Mode
While operating the robots in a special mode, following safety requirements must be met. In case of a disruption in the production process, the following steps must be taken during the rectification:
- No person should be allowed to have manual or physical access to areas deemed hazardous due to automatic movements by the robot or peripheral equipment.
- If any person is in the vicinity of the field of unsafe movements, safety measures must be taken to prevent hazards which arise from malfunctioning behavior displayed by a system or a prohibited command input.
- Safety measures must be taken to prevent hazardous conditions caused by the motion or removal of waste produce or production material.
- Safety measures must be taken to prevent injuries caused by peripheral equipment.
- Safety conditions should be met while conducting the normal operations; the operational scope and speed must meet the applicable rate. In addition, no personnel or parts of the body must be in the vicinity of the hazardous area.
Safety Measures Essential during Robotic Programming
Following steps should be taken to ensure the safety of workers during programming:
- No personnel should be allowed manual or physical access to areas deemed unsafe due to automatic movements.
- The following conditions must be met while carrying out the movements with the safety guard(s) for normal operation modes removed:
- Only one command may be carried out – command to move and only for the period it is issued.
- Only clearly visible, low-speed movements, i.e., controllable movements may be carried out.
- If it is determined that there is no danger to the programmer or other personnel, only then the movements may be started.
- Safety measures must be taken to make sure that the peripheral equipment does not pose a risk to the programmer or other personnel.
Repairing and rectifying a malfunction and other maintenance operations may also require a start-up (which signifies that the robotic mechanism is powered on and in an active state). Therefore, employers should undertake special precautions to make sure the machine parts and tools are handled with care, without the workers getting exposed to hazardous movements.
Watch YouTube Video: The Robot Revolution: The New Age of Manufacturing. This video features what the next generation of industrial robots would look like and whether they will take jobs away from workers.
Sacramento Machine Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Safety measures should be put in place for machine workers while operating robots to prevent injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in the workplace, call me for a free consultation at 916-584-9355.
I have been helping residents in Sacramento and most of Northern California by getting the compensation they deserve for their wrongful death and personal injury cases for over three decades.
Photo by Computerizer on Pixabay.com
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