How to work safely alongside manufacturing robots

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In the past, many industries used the traditional robots that had far less distinguishing characteristics to today’s robots. Today’s robots are more progressive, collaborative, and lighter and have better learning capabilities. Deploying robots to workplaces should not bring any risks to the people, the environment and the workstations. Manufacturers of robots worldwide are creating robots that are capable of taking on more complex tasks than robots of yester years. The new manufacturing robots are also in contact with humans more than they ever were before and therefore the need to have security measures put in place. Below are therefore safety measures every worker should put into place when working alongside robots.

Risks and Safety measures

Manufacturing robots are used widely big industries for various tasks like painting, wielding, packaging, palletizing, assembling, testing and moving among many others. Some of these industries are electronics, automotive, construction, marine, and retail and transport industries among many others. The robots come with varying strengths, endurance and precision.  Though the robots are fitted with programmable sensors to help them move around, they are not aware of their surroundings and this can cause a danger to the people working alongside them. Some of the risks that manufacturing robots pose to the human workers are

  • Electrical risks

Some of the robots may accidentally be exposed to arc flashes or come into contact with live power connections that may cause a fire or a risk to the people around them. It is therefore very important to check that all the wiring is proper and safe around the workplace.

  • Thermal risks

Exposure to extreme temperatures and hot surfaces may also cause an accident to occur. Make sure that when you are working with robots, the temperature is conducive and none of the robots gets exposure to hot surfaces.

  • Mechanical risks

It is very important to check all the robots mechanical and electronic connections. Anything faulty can cause a lot of damage because the robot may fail to stop when it needs to or come to a sudden stop when it is supposed to continue moving. Unexpected movement of tools around the people caused by the robots can also cause grievous harm. Always make sure that the robots follow their programmed routines and paths when carrying out their tasks. Move any tools that could get in their way away from their line of duty.

  • Human errors

Sometimes a robot may fail to work or work differently from human errors. The errors may include wrong judgement, trusting too much in the robots abilities or failing to programme the robot as is required. Taking great caution when working with the robots and remembering that they have no human feelings will help in keeping a safe distance. This is so especially for the maintenance crew who have to work very closely with the robots.  Always maintain a safe distance from the robots.

  • Hazardous chemicals, radiation and vibration

Any exposure to radiation, vibration or hazardous chemicals may also pose a threat to the health of the humans.

  • Lack of proper training

Every management should have regular trainings to the staff members about the robots and their work. Robot manufacturing companies like Universal Robots offer as much education and training on the robots safety standards as they possibly can. It is therefore important to make use of the trainings and to ask as many questions as possible where it is not clear. With better understanding of the robots, chances are the accidents will be minimal or there will be none at all.

Wrapping it up

More and more industries are adopting the use of manufacturing robots every day. Though the robots have state of the art safety measures, there is need to learn all the safety standards in order to avoid any hazards. This is more so because todays robots are more collaborative than the traditional industrial robots. This does not only go for commercial robots but for personal robots as well. To learn about collaborative robots safety standards, visit https://www.universal-robots.com/