OSHA Issues Updated Guidance for Robotic Systems

January 28, 2022

The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated and expanded a chapter in the OSHA Technical Manual on Industrial Robot Systems and Industrial Robot System Safety.

OSHA originally created the manual in 2017, through an alliance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Association for Advancing Automation (formerly the Robotic Industries Association). This collective effort has made significant updates to the manual, including up-to-date technical information on the hazards associated with industrial and emergent robot applications, safety considerations for employers and workers, and risk assessments and risk reduction measures.

The manual serves to guide OSHA compliance officers as they perform inspections at facilities with robotic systems and provides a technical resource for safety and health professionals overseeing the use of robotic systems in workplaces.

“Robot use will continue to expand, and employers have a responsibility to assess the hazards these new applications may introduce and implement appropriate safety controls to protect the workers who operate and service them,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Douglas Parker.