Safety issues of industrial robots are analyzed based on labour accidents in order to reconsider the execution of the ordinance on Industrial Safety and Hygiene (ISH). The analysis shows that accidents are most commonly caused by human access to the working area of robots for the purpose of maintenance and inspection. The fact is reviewed by a comparative study of safety requirements for robots between Industrial Standards (JIS) and ISH. The study reveals a disparity in technical protective measure. The feasibility of regulations by ISH is argued considering this disparity. A questionnaire is given to the robot manufacturer and user in order to investigate the difference of those provisions as a problem. This paper proposes the following recommendations concerning ISH. (1) The manufacturer or system integrator shall provide information about residual risk from robots and their implementation. (2) Regulations need to be changed in accordance with the development of robot technology. (3) Requirements by ISH need to ensure consistency with those of JIS.
Dust explosions caused by electrostatic discharge sometimes occur due to static electrification of powder during the pneumatic conveyance of powder and dust collection, and induce accidents to workers, e.g. burn injuries. This paper reports a method for detecting a precursory discharge inside a duct or silo. For the purpose of detection, induced voltages in a loop antenna were measured when electrostatic discharges occurred inside the corresponding metal duct. As a result of the experiment, it was confirmed that a corona discharge could be detected by the voltage induced in the loop antenna. It was also found that the antennas may need to be spaced at about 1 meter intervals in order to detect the corona discharges.
In recent years, there has been a rising trend in the number of occupational accidents in tertiary industries, but the actual situation of occupational accidents attributable to industrial machinery is almost completely unclear. Therefore, in order to clarify the machine types involved in occupational accidents in tertiary industries, this paper analyzed the occupational accidents which occurred with pertinent machinery/equipment, and analyzed the number of accidents for each type of industry and machine. The occupational accident data used for this paper covers fatal accidents, casualty accidents, and serious accidents for which the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry publishes the number of cases. As the result of a survey, differences were found in the industry and machine types with which, respectively, fatal accidents, casualty accidents, and serious accidents frequently occur. This suggests that there is a need to individually examine prevention measures for fatal, casualty and serious accidents. The results of analysis showed that the machine types where there is a need for priority efforts to establish accident prevention measures were (1) Fatal accidents: waste treatment machinery (garbage collection trucks etc.) and lift transport machinery (forklifts, elevators etc.), (2) Casualty accidents: food processing machinery, forklifts, conveyors, and (3) Serious accidents: combustion equipment that require monitoring of carbon monoxide. Issues requiring establishment of accident prevention measures were also shown for accidents due to machinery/equipment specific to tertiary industries such as car wash machinery, multilevel parking facilities, nursing care lifts and golf carts.