To minimize risk in the industrial machinery industry, four basic risk assessment methods have been implemented over the years. Of course, these methods have changed, merged and been updated to reflect changes in the industry and in the machinery used.

All risk assessment methods for industrial machinery serve the same general purposes. They:

  • Identify hazards
  • Assess risks
    – Frequency of exposure
    – Severity of possible injury
    – Ability to avoid the hazard
  • Reduce risks
  • Document results

Specific to machinery and robotics, there are at least four standardized methodologies for performing a risk assessment:

  1. ISO 14121 — Safety of Machinery Principles of Risk Assessment
    EN/ISO 14121 refers to additional standards, such as EN/ISO 13849-1 and EN/ISO 12100. It describes procedures for identifying hazards and assessing risks, and provides guidance on the information required to achieve this goal. The process involves analyzing the risks in a systematic and documented way, in order to eliminate or reduce hazards. Qualitative and quantitative methods can be used.
  2. ANSI B11.TR3 Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction
    This guide to estimate, evaluate and reduce risks associated with machine tools provides the procedures and methods to assess the risks associated with the design, construction, care and use of machine tools as included in the BI 1 series of machine tool safety standards. It serves as a guideline for suppliers and users of machine tools, providing a framework and procedure to identify tasks and hazards, and to estimate, evaluate, reduce and document the risks associated with these hazards under the various conditions of use of that machine or system.
  3. EN 1050 Safety of Machinery – Risk Assessment
    In the past, machine builders used EN 1050 for performing risk assessments, but that standard was replaced EN ISO 14121-1 (Safety of machines – part 1: Principles).
  4. ANSI/RIA 15.06 Safety Requirements for Industrial Robots and Robotic Systems
    In 2013, the ANSI/RIA R15.06 standard was updated and made to harmonize with the International ISO 10218:2011 standard for robot manufacturers and integrators. A key feature of the standard is “collaborative operation,” which is the introduction of a worker to the loop of active interaction during automatic robot operation. The standard also now addresses “safety-rated soft axis and space limiting” technology, which is optionally available on new robots.

Changes to standards can be small when they are updated or consolidated, but it is important to ensure that your facility is up to date and your employees are educated.

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