OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have partnered with the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) to set standards for industrial robotics. Called the OSHA/NIOSH/RIA Alliance and announced on Oct. 6, the group will foster communication and education about best practices in industrial robotics. This includes improving safety standards in situations where human workers are placed near industrial robots or in direct collaboration. Human robot collaboration (HRC) has been identified by the group as an “emerging technology” in need of oversight.

“The robotics industry has a great track record of safety dating back to 1961 when the first industrial robot was installed,” said Carole Franklin, director of standards development, RIA, in a statement. “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.”

Participants from all three groups will contribute technical expertise.

RIA has been in place since 1986, when the group’s members developed the first American national robot safety standards, R15.06.

“This new alliance with OSHA and NIOSH will help us to continue advancing worker safety as more robots enter the workplace,” RIA President Jeff Burnstein said in a statement.

Findings and standards developed by the OSHA/NIOSH/RIA Alliance will be available to employers and workers who use industrial robot systems, as well as with members of all three groups.

For more information, visit RIA’s website at

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