‘Safe Collaborative Robot Use: New Guidelines Released’

Deptartment of Customer Service NSW

The NSW Government’s Centre for Work Health and Safety has released a world-first set of guidelines for working safely with collaborative robots (cobots), Guidelines for Safe Collaborative Robot Design and Implementation.

Head of SafeWork NSW, Natasha Mann said the guidelines were developed in partnership with Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, University of Technology Sydney, Robotics Institute, University of Technology Sydney, 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,” Ms 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 world-first guidelines directly address this gap by offering practical guidance for preventing robot-related injuries from occurring, and in turn, curbing potential WHS incidents in the future.

“They offer easy-to-adopt strategies and resources to plan and design cobot-safe workplaces, mitigate hazards and minimise harm, and are designed to be used on both strategic-level for businesses and an operational level for workers.

“The guidelines are part of a multi-phased research project to identify the key risks of working with cobots, and develop a set of practical guidelines for working safety with them.

“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 codesign sessions to support safe implementation.”

Guidelines for Safe Collaborative Robot Design and Implementation are freely available to view and

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