Keeping People Out or Robots In?
Let’s address the question first. In the relatively short history of industrial robots, guard fencing was primarily – if not exclusively – considered a means to keep people out of the hazard zone. And rightly so. The accident history of robots shows that people are hit or otherwise injured by robots almost exclusively when they enter the hazard zone, in which the robot operates. This occurs either accidentally, because there are no suitable protection measures, or deliberately when people bypass or manipulate safeguards.
“Are your fences robot-proof?” Many have asked that question during the last three to five years. A little daringly the answer could be a counterquestion, “Do they have to be?” Almost everyone appears to think so; but as is so often the case, the answer should depend on the circumstances.