North America’s robotics trade group, the Robotics Industries Association (RIA) in Ann Arbor, has signed an alliance partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). OSHA has established alliances with several industry groups to share expertise and safety best practices regarding safety in various industries.
The alliance between OSHA, NIOSH, and RIA will focus on communication and education about best practices in robot safety.
“RIA has a long history of helping to keep around industrial robotics,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. “We developed the first American national robot safety standard, R15.06, in 1986 and we’ve kept it up-to-date since then. This new alliance with OSHA and NIOSH will help us to continue advancing worker safety as more robots enter the workplace.”
The alliance’s goals include enhancing technical expertise about robotics within OSHA and NIOSH, improving awareness of workplace hazards associated with traditional industrial robots and the emerging technology of human robot collaboration (HRC) installations and systems.
“The robotics industry has a great track record of safety dating back to 1961 when the first industrial robot was installed,” adds Carole Franklin, director of standards development for 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 also 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 regarding how to best control exposure to such hazards during operations involving human interaction with robotic systems in the workplace. Alliance participants will collaborate to develop technical training, resources, and tools across the industry.
Founded in 1971, RIA is a not-for-profit trade association driving innovation, growth, and safety in the manufacturing and service industries through education, promotion, and advancement of robotics and related technologies and companies.