Unlock the Power of a Thorough Cobot Risk Assessment: Your Roadmap to Safe and Optimal Deployment
Cobot Risk Assessment:
The advancements in technology have led to an increase in the capabilities and functionality of cobots, but also an increase in the potential hazards they can pose. By conducting a proper cobot risk assessment, organizations can ensure the safety of their employees, comply with safety standards and regulations, and maintain continuity of business.
So what is a Cobot Risk Assessment?
A cobot risk assessment is a process used to identify and evaluate the potential hazards associated with using a collaborative robot (cobot) in a work environment. The goal of the risk assessment is to ensure the safety of both the cobot and human operators by identifying and mitigating potential hazards.
The risk assessment process typically involves identifying the tasks and processes the cobot will be used for, assessing the potential hazards associated with those tasks, and implementing measures to control or eliminate those hazards. The risk assessment should also be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure that it remains current and effective. The standards ISO 10218-1 and ISO/TS 15066 cover collaborative robot systems and cobot risk assessment, respectively, these standards should be used as guidelines for the risk assessment.
It is important to perform a cobot risk assessment to ensure the safety of both the cobot and human operators by identifying and mitigating potential hazards. It helps to comply with the safety standards and regulations, avoiding potential accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Performing a risk assessment identifies:
1. Potential hazards associated with the tasks and processes the cobot will be used for, such as crushing or pinching between the gripper jaws and other parts of the cobot or surrounding equipment, impact, entanglement, dropping objects, electrocution, or fire.
2. The likelihood and severity of these hazards, taking into account factors such as the environment, the task, the cobot design and the human-robot interaction.
3. Measures that can be implemented to control or eliminate the identified hazards, such as safety devices, safety procedures, or process changes.
4. The effectiveness of the measures taken, in order to make sure they are adequate and suitable to mitigate the hazards.
5. The need to review and update the risk assessment as necessary to ensure that it remains current and effective.
It's important to note that the assessment process also should include a review of the organization's safety culture and safety management system, to ensure that the risks have been identified and that the necessary measures have been taken to mitigate them.
Which requirement does it fulfil?
Performing a cobot risk assessment fulfills several key requirements, including:
1. Compliance with safety standards and regulations:
A cobot risk assessment helps to ensure that the use of the cobot complies with relevant safety standards, such as ISO 10218-1 and ISO/TS 15066, which cover collaborative robot systems and cobot risk assessment, respectively.
2. Legal and moral obligation:
Employers have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the health and safety of their employees, and a cobot risk assessment is an important step in fulfilling this obligation.
3. Identifying and mitigating hazards:
A cobot risk assessment helps to identify and mitigate potential hazards associated with the use of the cobot, such as crushing or pinching, impact, entanglement, dropping objects, electrocution, or fire.
4. Improving safety culture:
By performing a cobot risk assessment, organizations can improve their safety culture and overall safety management system by identifying and mitigating hazards, and promoting a culture of safety.
5. Maintaining continuity of business:
By identifying and controlling potential hazards before they occur, organizations can help to maintain continuity of business by avoiding accidents and injuries that could disrupt operations.
Who should conduct the assessment?
A cobot risk assessment should be conducted by a qualified and experienced professional who has the knowledge and skills to identify and evaluate potential hazards associated with the use of a collaborative robot (cobot).
A risk assessor:
A risk assessor is a professional who is trained and qualified to identify, evaluate, and control hazards in the workplace. They have the knowledge and skills to conduct a thorough cobot risk assessment and to implement measures to control or eliminate hazards.
A safety engineer is a professional who is trained and qualified to design and implement safety systems and procedures in the workplace. They have the knowledge and skills to conduct a cobot risk assessment and to implement measures to control or eliminate hazards.
A cobot system Integrator:
A cobot system integrator is a professional who is trained and qualified in the installation, programming, and maintenance of cobots and is able to conduct a risk assessment and implement safety measures that are specific to the cobot.
A cobot vendor/manufacturer:
They also can provide a technical support and risk assessment service to their clients, they could also provide the necessary information about the cobot safety features, safety instructions and limitations.
It's important to note that the person conducting the cobot risk assessment should be independent from the design, production and maintenance of the cobot.
What happens after the risk assessment has been completed?
After a cobot risk assessment is conducted, several steps should be taken to ensure that the cobot is used safely in the workplace:
Implementing measures to control or eliminate hazards:
The risk assessor or safety engineer should implement measures to control or eliminate the hazards identified in the risk assessment. These measures may include safety devices, safety procedures, or process changes.
Training and education:
The cobot risk assessment should include training and education programs for employees who will be working with the cobot, including training on the safe use of the cobot, emergency procedures, and other safety-related topics.
Regular review and update:
The cobot risk assessment should be reviewed and updated regularly, to ensure that it remains current and effective. This process should also include regular safety inspections and audits of the cobot and its environment.
Documenting the cobot risk assessment:
The cobot risk assessment should be documented and kept on file, in case it is needed for reference or to demonstrate compliance with safety standards and regulations.
Implementing a maintenance and monitoring plan:
Proper maintenance and monitoring are essential to ensure that the cobot is used safely. A maintenance plan should be implemented and followed to ensure that the cobot is in good working condition and that any potential hazards are identified and addressed promptly.
Communicate the results of the assessment to all relevant parties:
Communicating the results of the assessments to employees, supervisors, and management, to ensure that everyone understands the hazards and measures that have been put in place to control them.
To learn more about cobots.