- The Association for Advancing Automation has announced a combined OSHA/NIOSH/RIA Alliance that will focus on communication and education about best practices in robot safety, an A3 press release reported recently.
- The intent behind the OSHA/NIOSH/RIA Alliance is to enhance technical expertise about robotics within OSHA and NIOSH, and improve awareness of potential workplace hazards associated with industrial robots. The trio further seeks to grow awareness of the technology behind human-robot collaboration (HRC).
- The three also hope to facilitate information sharing regarding the best methods of controlling exposure to potentially hazardous situations that could occur between humans and robotic systems in the workplace.
The future of robots within the workforce is all but assured; now workplace safety groups are working to ensure a danger-free environment.
The 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report revealed that robotics tops the list of current industry disruptions within the supply chain, while 35% of survey respondents replying to both MHI and Deloitte have already incorporated robotics into their logistics. Retail too is already benefiting from robot support, with Tally, a robot by Simbe Robotics, scanning St. Louis-based Schnucks grocery stores thrice daily for items in need of restocking.
For Robotic Industries, partnering with OSHA and NIOSH was a no-brainer. "It was an easy, sensible choice," Jeff Burnstein, President of Robotic Industries told Supply Chain Dive. "We want to be able to share information about the latest developments and technology in robot safety."
The importance of establishing a standard of safety early in the process of robots entering the workplace, particularly when it comes to pairing mobile robots with humans, is vital.
"Whether it's for collaborative or mobile models, we need to stress the importance of safety," Burnstein said.