Bloomberg Law
July 23, 2015, 4:00 AM

General Duty Clause Often Cited for Robot Safety

Without rules specifically for robots and automated guided vehicles, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration often uses a mix of existing regulations covering machine guarding, lockout/tagout and electrical safety to determine if an employer’s use of robots merits a citation.

And when no federal rule covers the situation, OSHA can use the general duty clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to cite an employer—especially if the employer didn’t follow voluntary consensus standards or the manufacturer’s instructions.

General Duty Citations.

Among recent general duty clause cases, Formed Fiber Technologies LLC’s Auburn, Maine, plant was handed a ...