The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have partnered with the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) trade group to set standards for industrial robotics.
The OSHA-NIOSH-RIA alliance will focus on communication and education about best practices in robot safety, and identifying research that may be needed to help reduce workplace hazards. The partnership will also seek to improve awareness of workplace hazards associated with traditional industrial robots and the emerging technology of human robot collaboration installations and systems.
"The robotics industry has a great track record of safety dating back to 1961 when the first industrial robot was installed," said Carole Franklin, director of standards development, RIA. "We're trying to make sure every integrator and user of robotics in the country is aware of the best practices described in our R15.06 standard. This new partnership with OSHA and NIOSH will certainly help us in that effort."
The alliance will foster technical exchange and information sharing among RIA members, OSHA, NIOSH, employers and workers concerning hazards that may be present around industrial robot systems. It will also facilitate the sharing of information about how best to control exposure to such hazards during operations involving human interaction with the robotic systems in workplaces.