From The Desk of Our Standards Director – Carole Franklin
There are more than 1.5 million industrial robots safely operating in factories worldwide, and the robotics industry can take pride in its impressive safety record. However, like most machines, robots can be dangerous when they are deployed improperly or used carelessly. For over thirty years, RIA has taken a lead role in assuring that the robotics industry continues to proactively assess the safety environment and provide safety resources as robotic applications continue to expand.
At the forefront of RIA’s leadership role in industrial robot safety is the development of the ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 safety standard. This standard, which is an adoption of ISO 10218:2011 Parts 1 and 2, provides industry with guidance on the proper use of the safety features embedded into robots, as well as how to safely integrate robots into factories and work areas. The U.S. Occupational Heath and Safety Administration (OSHA) relies on industry standards such as ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 when determining compliance with applicable safety regulations.
RIA also offers ANSI-registered Technical Reports (TRs) to help you implement the R15.06 standards. These TRs provide more detailed guidance to supplement the information in the main Standard. RIA TR R15.306-2016, Task-Based Risk Assessment (often referred to simply as, “the 306”), provides a guide to implementing a method of risk assessment that complies with the R15.06-2012 requirements. RIA TR R15.406-2014, Safeguarding (“the 406”), describes requirements for effective use of safeguarding devices in a robotic installation. And RIA TR R15.506-2014, Existing Systems (“the 506”), describes how to apply the 2012 version of R15.06 to robotic systems that had been installed in compliance with earlier versions of the standard. In addition, a recently-published ISO Technical Specification (TS), ISO/TS-15066:2016, Collaborative Robots, gives valuable guidance on the safe implementation of collaborative robot systems.
Along with standard development, RIA also offers safety training and hosts an annual National Robot Safety Conference to provide specific guidance on robot and other machine safety standards.
RIA Certified Integrators must demonstrate aptitude in deploying safe robot systems. Refer to the RIA Certified Integrators page if you would like to find an integrator who can assist on your next project. Also, RIA Member Consultants can be a valuable resource in determining safety compliance on existing robot systems and providing risk assessment and risk mitigation services. You can locate an RIA Member Consultant using the "Browse By" feature in the upper right corner of Robotics Online.
Do you have a safety question? Ask the Experts! Our “Ask the Experts” has a category devoted specifically to safety where questions can be posted, where RIA member organization personnel respond to questions.
Finally, RIA staff is available to answer questions you may have pertaining to industrial robot safety. Feel free to call 734-994-6088 to speak directly to staff.