What determines if a gear/chain system is safe?

We have two (as of now) large gear/chain systems to raise/lower two sets of arms. The motor and arm gears are about 1.5 feet apart, and we are wondering how to properly enclose them so as to meet safety requirements. Thank You.

A picture would be nice! Generally you should not be able to stick a body part into the chain mechanism by accident. Also, if a random piece of another robot were to fly at your robot you don’t want it getting jammed in there.

So make a cover, lexan, or otherwise to prevent accidental carnage.

What have you guys found that works well? We have been thinking about using chicken wire to encase our gears/electronics this year.

Chicken wire might be OK.

We generally use very thin Lexan, cut to a kind-of-oval shape that mimics the chain / sprocket path, but about an inch bigger. We cut holes for the shafts (and slits so we can just snap it onto the shafts) and this makes it a lot more difficult to get something into the chain.

Remember, chains can be very dangerous. A finger in a #35 chain will be cut off by the sprocket, mashed well enough to prevent reattachment. The finger, that is.

I do realize that most of us have 9 spare fingers, but you probably don’t want to rely on those spares. Losing one is painful. ::ouch::

We’ve never had a chain set up that was large and out in the open, but our shooter wheels last year were. We used thing lexan cut in long strips and bolted those around the wheels so nothing could accidentally fall, or reach, in to a spinning wheel.