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Safety Risk Assessment of a Highly Automated Agricultural Machine

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2201126.(doi:10.13031/aim.202201126)
Authors:   Guy R. Aby, Salah F. Issa, Girish Chowdhary
Keywords:   Automated agricultural machine, Human-factors and ergonomics, NIOSH lifting equation, Risk assessment, Safety, Standard.

Abstract. The goal of this study was to analyze the safety implications of an automated agricultural machine using the standards ISO 18497 and ISO 12100:2012, as well as to investigate the human-factors ergonomics associated with the use of the automated agricultural machine. First, the robot's manufacturers were asked to respond as to whether or not the robot's functionalities complied with the safety standards and protective measures outlined in standard ISO 18497 after reviewing the safety requirements and protective measures in question. Second, while the robot was planting cover crop seeds, an attempt was made to identify and evaluate every risk connected to the robot using the risk assessment techniques outlined in ISO 12100. (1) While only (50%) half of the functionalities of the automated agricultural machine complied with the safety requirements and protective measures described within the standard ISO 18497, 100% compliance would not guarantee safe operation. The obstacle defined in standard 14897 is not capable of ensuring the safe operations of automated agricultural machines. (2) The heavy reliance on pre-existing knowledge of the risk assessment procedure described within the standard ISO 12100:2012 makes it ineffective to new and revolutionary technologies such as automated agricultural machines. (3) Lifting a bag to fill the robot hopper with seeds was found to be the hazardous activity associated with the human-robot interaction. Multiple tentative solutions were provided to avoid this hazardous activity.

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