Biomechanical Thresholds from Other Applications (KAN Study)
Humans and robots will be sharing work areas more and more frequently in the near future and often working together hand-in-hand. Rather than by protective barriers, new safety sensors or safe manipulators will assure human safety. Whenever a person comes into contact with a robot, a distinction must be made between desired contact and a collision to assess the risk. Generally, the biomechanical load on humans must be limited to a tolerable and safe level in both types of contact. The relevant standard DIN EN ISO 10218 is currently supplemented by ISO TS 15066 with the goal of stipulating clear specifications for safe design and set-up of work areas with human-robot collaboration.
Accident insurers require a clear differentiation of the classification of tolerable loads from current categories of injury severity S1 (reversible injuries) and S2 (irreversible injuries or death).
There is no clear definition from the perspective of occupational safety. As part of the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization’s study “Biomechanical thresholds”, the Fraunhofer IFF researched and compiled current situation and further need for biomechanical thresholds for mechanical risk assessments of work areas with human-robot collaboration.