Robotics Industry Launches Alliance With Federal Safety Watchdogs

The Robotic Industries Association will work closely with OSHA and NIOSH, two federal agencies focused on setting federal safety standards. The agreement, says RIA, builds on its long track record on standards.

The industrial robotics industry is tightening its relationship with two federal occupational safety agencies.

This week, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) announced it had signed an alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), two organizations that help set federal standards for on-the-job safety.

“The alliance will foster a technical exchange and information sharing among RIA members, OSHA, NIOSH, employers, and workers concerning mechanical (machine guarding, lockout/tagout), electrical, and other hazards, and how best to control exposures during operations involving human interaction with the robotic systems found in workplaces now and in the future,” a description on the OSHA website states.

In a news release, RIA President Jeff Burnstein noted that the organization “has a long history of helping to keep around industrial robotics,” including creating the first federal safety standard for robots in 1986.

RIA and its agency collaborators hope to use the alliance to improve technical knowledge around robotics, as well as the workplace hazards around the technology. Although the agreement is new, the group emphasizes in its release that this is part of a longer track record for the robotics sector.

“The robotics industry has a great track record of safety dating back to 1961 when the first industrial robot was installed,” said RIA Director of Standards Development Carole Franklin. “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.”

(Thossaphol/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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