Robot Safety 211
This class discusses the different ways to prevent robot accidents. Robot accidents can result in serious injuries or fatalities. Most accidents occur because employees bypass the robot's safeguards.
There are two kinds of safeguarding systems that protect employees from injury when working with robots. Safety devices stop a robot from operating. Presence-sensing mats, for example, end robot operations when the pressure or weight of an employee is detected. Safety barriers prevent employees from accessing or entering dangerous robot work areas. For example, perimeter fences block employee access to areas where robots are working.
Employees must receive training on the robot and wear protective clothing when near the robot. The robot must be installed and maintained as intended by the manufacturer and by authorized personnel only. All robot operators require a certain level of experience and training to work with the robot.
Number of Lessons 20
- Industrial Robot Safety
- Robot Safety Standards
- Robot Application Hazards
- Risk Assessment
- Types of Robot Accidents
- Robot Safety Review
- Robot Installation and Maintenance Safety
- Robot Teaching Safety
- Robot Application Space
- Safeguarding Systems
- Robot Workspace Safety Review
- Emergency Stops
- Presence-Sensing Devices
- Lockout/Tagout Devices
- Safety Barriers
- Timed Events
- Collaborative Robot Safety
- Mobile Robot Safety
- Robot Safety Training
- Final Review
- Describe the importance of industrial robot safety.
- List robot safety standards.
- Describe the hazards associated with industrial robots.
- Describe a risk assessment.
- List different types of robot accidents.
- Describe how to safely install and maintain a robot system.
- Distinguish between different robot teaching methods.
- List the types of space in a robot application.
- Describe safeguarding systems.
- Describe emergency stops.
- Describe presence-sensing safety devices.
- Describe lockout/tagout.
- Describe safety barriers.
- Describe how timed events impact robot safety.
- Describe collaborative robot safety.
- Describe mobile robot safety.
- Describe the proper training for robot safety.
An increase in the rate of an object's velocity. Acceleration occurs when a force increases an object's momentum.
Guards that may be moved or reconfigured to allow for different types of production. Adjustable guards can accommodate different sizes of stock or raw materials.
American National Standards Institute
ANSI. A private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates voluntary standards and systems. American National Standards Institute is one of several organizations that standardizes relevant safety codes for robot installation.
A publication produced by ANSI that provides guidelines for manufacturing, installing, and safeguarding robotic systems. ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 includes information regarding risk assessment when using robots on a manufacturing site.
A publication produced by ANSI that provides guidelines for manufacturing, installing, and safeguarding industrial mobile robots. The ANSI/RIA R15.08-1-2020 is a more recently developed standard for mobile robots.
Association for Advancing Automation
A3. A trade group organized specifically to serve the robotics industry. Member companies of the Association for Advancing Automation, previously the Robotic Industries Association, include leading robot manufacturers, users, system integrators, component suppliers, research groups, and consulting firms.
Mechanisms used to detect the location of people or objects near hazardous areas of a machine. Awareness-sensing devices, or presence-sensing devices, often use pressure-sensitive mats or light curtains.
A type of connection between a robot's wrist and end effector that causes the robot to stop when too much force is applied to the end effector. Breakaways are intended to protect equipment rather than people.
A label that certifies that a product has met European Union health, safety, and environmental requirements. A CE marking allows products, like industrial robots, to be sold in the European market.
A robot that can be programmed to learn a specific task in order to assist humans. A cobot, or collaborative robot, is designed to interact with humans in a shared workspace.
A robot that can be programmed to learn a specific task in order to assist humans. A collaborative robot, or cobot, is designed to interact with humans in a shared workspace.
The shared space where a robot and human operator can simultaneously perform tasks. Collaborative space is generally a safe space.
An accident that occurs when a robot's movements become unpredictable and an employee is struck by the robot. A collision accident, or impact accident, can occur even when a robot is functioning properly.
A type of sensor that detects an obstruction or impact before or while it occurs. Collision detectors prevent damage to the robot and its tooling.
An accident that occurs when an employee is pushed against an object and an employee's arm, leg, or other body parts are compressed or damaged. Crushing accidents can be fatal.
A reduction in the rate of an object's velocity. Deceleration occurs when a force decreases an object's momentum.
Any device that introduces motion into a system. Electric motors, especially servos, are the most common robot drive.
Electrical noise in a circuit that interrupts the transmission or reception of a signal. Electromagnetic interference can lead to robot accidents.
A pushbutton that, when pressed, brings a machine to a safe, rapid stop. Also called an E-stop, the emergency stop is installed on the teach pendant of a robot.
A device attached to the end of a robot arm that allows it to interact with a part, component, or material. The end effector may be a gripper that allows the robot to pick up objects and place them down.
An accident that occurs when a robot's parts break and fly off and hit an employee. Equipment accidents may cause injuries which can be minimized by the proper usage of personal protective equipment.
A pushbutton that, when pressed, brings a machine to a safe, rapid halt. Also called an emergency stop, the E-stop is installed on the teach pendant of a robot.
A barrier guard that prohibits access to dangerous operating areas while allowing operators to access parts of the machine. Fixed guards cannot be adjusted.
Guidelines for Robotics Safety STD 01-12-002
A publication produced by OSHA that provides information on the safe operation of industrial robots. Guidelines for Robotics Safety STD 01-12-002 is used to inform employers and employees of the safety concerns in the robotics field as it grows.
A programming method for robots where a trainer physically moves the robot through different steps of the job process. Hand guiding, also known as lead-through programming, poses more safety risks to the trainer than teach pendant programming and requires enhanced sensing technology.
A component, such as a pipe, tube, or hose, that delivers power due to the motion and pressure of liquids throughout a system. Hydraulic lines can lead to equipment accidents, such as slips and falls, if they rupture.
An accident that occurs when a robot's movements become unpredictable and an employee is struck by the robot. An impact accident, or collision accident, can occur even when a robot is functioning properly.
A reprogrammable machine sometimes used in place of a person in a manufacturing setting. Industrial robots perform dangerous or repetitive tasks with a high degree of accuracy.
Barriers with tripping mechanisms that cause machines to stop when guards are removed. Interlocking guards, when tripped, make starting a robot impossible until the guard is replaced.
International Electrotechnical Commission
IEC. An international organization that prepares and publishes all standards for electrical, electronic, and related technologies. The International Electrotechnical Commission develops standards that are applied in Europe and other countries.
International Organization for Standardization
ISO. A non-governmental organization based in Switzerland that develops and establishes standards, rules, and guidelines designed to ensure that products, processes, and services are fit for their purposes. The International Organization for Standardization develops many quality and safety standards for manufacturing.
ISO 10218 Robots and Robotic Devices
A publication produced by ISO that sets standards for the design, integration, and safeguarding of robots and robot systems. ISO 10218 Robots and Robotic Devices provides basic safety requirements for designing, manufacturing, installing, operating, and servicing industrial robots.
A programming method for robots where a trainer physically moves the robot through different steps of the job process. Lead-through programming, also known as hand guiding, poses more safety risks to the trainer than teach pendant programming and requires enhanced sensing technology.
A field of light that stops a machine when the light is blocked by an object. Light curtains send a stopping signal to the controller to prevent mechanical parts from striking personnel and equipment.
Mechanisms used to limit the movement of an industrial robot. Limiting devices stop robot movement and keep it out of the restricted space.
A control device that must be depressed for a robot to move. Liveman switches are a safety feature on robotic teach pendants.
A device such as a lock and key or combination lock. Lockout devices are used to prevent equipment or machinery from being energized.
A method of protecting employees by preventing accidental machine startup through proper locking and labeling of machines during maintenance. Lockout/tagout is the common term for OSHA's Control of Hazardous Energy Standard.
A method of protecting employees from accidental machine startup through proper locking and labeling of machines during maintenance. Lockout/tagout is the common term for OSHA's Control of Hazardous Energy Standard.
An arm-shaped robot that is typically mounted on a base or placed on or suspended from a track. Manipulators, or robotic arms, typically have all revolute joints.
The total space where a robot can reach. Maximum space may extend outside the safeguarded space.
A robot that is able to move through space. Mobile robots require sensors to avoid collision.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. An organization that researches and develops workplace health and safety recommendations. NIOSH, along with OSHA, provides safety information on robotics.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA. A government agency that sets the standards for working conditions in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ensures that employees work in safe and healthy environments.
The space that is needed for a robot to perform a programmed task. A robot's operating space may overlap with other machines' operating spaces.
OSHA Technical Manual TED 01-00-015
A publication produced by OSHA that provides information on safety related to fixed industrial robots and robot systems. The OSHA Technical Manual TED 01-00-015 covers information about the different functions of industrial robots, how to train them safely, and how to use them in conjunction with other machinery.
The maximum amount of weight that a machine is able to manipulate. Exceeding payload limits creates a hazard for robot operators.
Fences placed outside the work area of the robot. Perimeter fences prevent nearby personnel from entering a hazardous space.
personal protective equipment
PPE. Any clothing or device worn to minimize exposure to hazards and prevent injury. Personal protective equipment may include eye and ear protection, safety footwear, gloves, and other devices.
A device that detects the presence of an object or person by the amount of light present. Photosensors are used in presence-sensing devices.
Any place where two components meet. Coming into contact with a pinch point can result in an injury.
A component such as a pipe, tube, or hose that delivers power due to the motion and pressure of compressed gases throughout a system. Pneumatic lines can lead to equipment accidents, such as burns, if they rupture.
A device that generates electricity. A robot must be compatible with the power source of the facility where it is used.
Personal protective equipment. Any clothing or device worn to minimize exposure to hazards and prevent injury. PPE may include eye and ear protection, safety footwear, gloves, and other devices.
Mechanisms used to detect the location of people or objects near hazardous areas of a machine. Presence-sensing devices, or awareness-sensing devices, often use pressure-sensitive mats or light curtains.
A safety device that contains sensors to detect weight or pressure. Presence-sensing mats disengage the machine when activated by a predetermined amount of weight.
Preventing the Injury of Workers by Robots 85-103
A publication produced by NIOSH that recommends safety measures for designing robotic systems and training and supervising employees who use them. Preventing the Injury of Workers by Robots 85-103 contains specific guidelines for safeguarding systems when using robots.
A device that uses an electronic sensing field to detect the presence of an object. Proximity sensors can be used in conjunction with robots to help position the robot in space relative to other objects.
A manual control device that opens or closes a circuit when pressed. E-stops are often pushbuttons.
The space within the maximum space that is safely limited by sensors, software, or fencing. Restricted space takes into account the robot's movement and stopping space.
A documented process that an organization uses to help plan for risks and opportunities. A risk assessment evaluates the control measures in place for hazardous activities.
Robotic Industries Association
RIA. A trade group organized specifically to serve the robotics industry. Member companies of the Robotic Industries Association, now Association for Advancing Automation, include leading robot manufacturers, users, system integrators, component suppliers, research groups, and consulting firms.
The space defined by perimeter safeguarding. Safeguarded space may use fencing or light curtains to create a safe barrier between the robot and human operators.
Any device, barrier, or process that protects a worker from being injured by a machine. The two basic types of safeguarding systems include safety devices and safety barriers.
Any device, barrier, or process that protects an operator from being injured by a machine. The two basic types of safeguarding systems include safety devices and safety barriers.
A moveable or permanent structure that keeps employees from entering or accessing dangerous areas during a robot's operating cycle. Safety barriers include structures like gates and fences.
A mechanism that prevents the robot from operating when an employee is near a dangerous area. Safety devices often include lockout/tagout mechanisms.
site acceptance test
SAT. A final inspection of equipment, its installation environment, and the system's operation. Site acceptance tests are performed before operation.
The starting position of a robot. The source position is the position where a robot begins in a timed event.
Liquid metal droplets and sparks expelled during a thermal cutting or welding process. Spatter, which can spray up to 35 feet (10.67 m) from the work area, is a safety risk that can cause burns or fire.
A control device that can make or break a circuit by closing or opening. Switches can be either manual, mechanical, or automatic.
Prominent warning devices, such as tags, that can be securely attached to a machine or power source. Tagout devices alert employees that equipment is not to be operated until the tag is removed.
The end position of a robot. The target position is a robot's final position in a timed event.
A robot setting where an engineer or operator is able to control the robot's movements and save those movements as an operating program. Teach mode, or manual mode, is used in online programming.
A device used to control a robot during programming. Teach pendants may have control buttons, a joystick, or a touch screen.
teach pendant programming
A robot programming operation in which engineers or operators take a robot through a process using a remote control or other machine interface. Teach pendant programming is a type of online programming.
A process used to program a robot and control its movements. Teaching is typically done using a teach pendant.
A specified timeframe during which a robot must move from a source position to a target position. Timed events must happen within a certain time limit, or the robot automatically comes to a stop.
An accident that occurs when an employee's arm, leg, or other body parts are pinned between the robot and other equipment. Trapping accidents can lead to loss of limbs.
UL. A nationally recognized testing laboratory that is dedicated to product safety testing and certification. Underwriters Laboratories wrote many standards for safe devices before OSHA formalized the process.
A collection of advanced optical components that collects data and forms an image, which is interpreted by a computer. Vision systems can be used to detect nearby objects.
An intermediate point in a path between a robot's source and target positions. Waypoints, also known as via points, determine the shape and route of a robot's path.