Assessment of the Effectiveness and Safety of Exoskeletons in Industrial Workplaces
Authors: Hana Pacaiova, Daniela Onofrejova
Abstract: Machinery safety requirements are based on legislation and recommendations of harmonized standards (e.g. Directive 2006/42/EC, ISO 12100). A key aspect is the risk assessment, which considers the impact of hazardous situations and hazardous events on human lives and health. Risk analysis and assessment has traditionally been methodically supported by various tools, as Risk Matrix, Risk Graph, Failure Cause and Effect Analysis (FMEA), etc. A major problem in terms of meeting legal requirements is the assessment of exposure by factors such as noise, vibration and, in particular, the physical strain resulting from handling loads. Modern robotic workplaces are created by connecting several machines. On the positive side, high-risk hazardous situations (zones) are eliminated or minimized for the person working in such workplace. However, human activities are thus limited in particular to handling tasks, product quality control and withdrawal of finished products. Here, such influences arise that can affect human health in the long term, resulting from muscular load, which depends mainly on the design of the workplace, that means taking into account ergonomic principles already within workplace design. Measuring the physical load allows to "set up" the workplace so that the load is both immediate and long-term reduced by a suitable design solution, or by technical devices that reduce this load. Recently, research has focused on personalizing the reduction of musculoskeletal load not only by changing the workplace, but also by developing and testing special devices called exoskeletons. Exoskeleton’s interface is important to improve comfort, performance and of course personal health.
Keywords: Machinery safety, musculoskeletal disorders, exoskeleton
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