NSW Government releases first robot safety guidelines

Centre For Work Health & Safety

Friday, 27 January, 2023

NSW Government releases first robot safety guidelines

The NSW Government Centre for Work Health and Safety has released a set of guidelines for working safely with collaborative robots (cobots). According to Natasha Mann, Head of SafeWork NSW, the Guidelines for Safe Collaborative Robot Design and Implementation were developed in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Institute, as well as the Centre for Inclusive Design and Kairos Now.

“The potential WHS risks cobots present are reasonably well-known overseas, with several cases of workers being injured in cobot-related incidents,” Mann said. “Despite increasing cobot usage and the risks involved, there is a gap in the current workplace health and safety framework around how workplaces can safely engage with robots.”

The guidelines directly address this gap by offering practical guidance to prevent injuries and curb WHS risks. They contain strategies and resources to plan and design cobot-safe workplaces, mitigate hazards and minimise harm on both strategic and operational level.

According to Mann, the guidelines are part of a larger research project that aims to identify the key risks of working with cobots and develop a set of practical guidelines for doing so safely.

“The research informing the guidelines included identifying WHS risks of working with cobots, a study to explore human attitudes and perceptions about how safe design can be supported and enabled, and co-design sessions to support safe implementation,” Mann said.

The Guidelines for Safe Collaborative Robot Design and Implementation are available to view and download here.

Image: iStockPhoto.com/Narongrit Sritana

Originally published here.

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