Productive and safe workplaces where robots and humans work together

The main driving forces for automation have for a long time been increased production efficiency and a better working environment. The opportunities to automate with industrial robots have increased through more readily available technology at a lower price. This opens up and drives a new market for do-it-yourself industrial robot installations. In a project financed by AFA Försäkring, "Safe workplaces with increased automation and robotization in manufacturing companies - mapping, analysis, strategy", it has emerged that companies need guidance to plan, install and operate safe workplaces with flexible automation. This increases to a great extent through the development that is taking place, with mobile robots and self-driving equipment for the transport of materials. This also includes new business models, with companies renting out robots when needed, for example during temporary peak loads in production.

Produktiva och sakra arbetsplatser
Collaborative robot application for training risk analysis in different working methods

What type of automation does the company need?

A guide on mapping the company's needs for automation and production flexibility is available at EDIG,

In order to identify automation candidates in a company, two core questions are to describe a current situation and a target image that gradually increases in detail. Starting points should be current and future customer needs, a well-thought-out production flow, where well-described tasks are possible candidates, to be automated.

Automating is a change used to anchor and assess risk

Long-term experience shows that automation that is successful in a company, has anchoring and commitment among employees who are affected by the automation. Therefore, an automation project is good to prepare and run from an MTO perspective, where MTO stands for People, Technology and Organization.
Based on the regulation "Systematic work environment work, AFS 2001:1", risk assessments must be made for changes that are not part of the ongoing operations. This may refer to:

- New technique
- Organizational changes (e.g. mergers, changed organizational structure)
- Personnel changes
- New working hours
- New working methods
- Remodeling and new constructions

A quote from AFS 2001:1 is "When changes in the business are planned, the employer must assess whether the changes involve risks of ill health or accidents that may need to be remedied. The risk assessment must be documented in writing. The risk assessment must state which risks exist and whether they are serious or not. See more via the Work Environment Authority's website

Mapping operator ergonomics

In a company, there are often several different opportunities to automate, but also limited resources to run and finance automation projects. In order to prioritize between automation projects - automation candidates - part of the decision-making basis is to assess the ergonomic load for various work tasks that can be automated. A screening tool to compare the degree of load for different automation candidates has been developed and can be downloaded from

Produktiva och sakra arbetsplatser tabell

A tool for mapping and an initial assessment of different physical workloads in a production section, which is judged to be a suitable candidate to automate / robotize. The tool has been developed by RISE Caroline Jarebrant within the project Framtidens Tvätteri funded by AFA Försäkring.

Safe workplaces: Working methods for risk analyzes in collaborative applications

A working method for risk assessment of collaborative applications has been developed by RISE with the support of AFA Försäkring. A basis and guidance for risk analyzes will be posted via EDIG. The work has mainly been produced by RISE employees Johan Hedberg and Per Stålberg.

This article is written by:

Magnus Widfeldt, Caroline Jarebrant (RISE)


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This article is categorised as Intermediate  |  Published 2022-09-28  |  Authored by Matilda Hurtig