October 21, 2021

Updated Information on Robot System Safety Published in OSHA Manual

Updated information on robot system safety in workplaces is now published in the OSHA Technical Manual, the agency announced on Oct. 15 via QuickTakes, its twice-monthly e-newsletter. The updated information can be found in chapter four in the section on industrial robot systems and industrial robot system safety, which is intended as a guide to robot systems found in industrial applications. OSHA describes industrial robots as “programmable multifunctional mechanical devices designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions to perform a variety of tasks.” The Technical Manual section on industrial robot system safety describes the basic components of industrial robot systems as well as the structure of industrial robots and their applications. Additional information includes hazards associated with industrial robots and safety considerations for employers and workers.

For more information, see the manual’s section on industrial robot systems or OSHA’s webpage on robotics.

The OSHA Technical Manual provides technical information about workplace hazards and controls to OSHA’s compliance safety and health officers but is freely available for use by health and safety professionals, employers, and others involved in developing or implementing workplace safety and health programs.

Related:The Symbiotic Workplace,” an article published in the February 2018 issue of The Synergist, discusses concerns for worker safety and health related to the integration of exoskeletons into the modern workplace. Another feature article published in the January 2018 issue of the magazine examines how technologies like additive manufacturing and robotics are changing manufacturing. And at AIHce EXP 2019, NIOSH’s Chuck Geraci and Naomi Swanson discussed what an increasing amount of human-robot interaction means for workers and the field of industrial hygiene.