handshake - robot and human

Robots are machines or automated technologies that are capable of performing a series of actions to do everything from drive cars to perform surgery. Robots have existed in the workplace for years, but their presence on jobsites is increasing, as are their capabilities. Today’s robots are designed to work alongside, move amongst, and be worn by human workers.

NIOSH’s Role in Robotics

Given NIOSH’s mission to develop new knowledge, the Institute is uniquely positioned to evaluate potential benefits and risks of robots in the workplace, conduct workplace interventions to prevent robot-related worker injuries, and develop guidance for safe interactions between humans and robots. To do this, NIOSH created the Center for Occupational Robotics Research (CORR) in September 2017.

The CORR is encompassed within NIOSH-wide efforts to examine the Future of Work (FOW) and broaden the approach to worker safety, health and well-being. Specifically, CORR addresses some of the technological innovations, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, that are changing the nature of work.

A new NIOSH analysis identified 41 robot-related fatalities in the United States for the 26-year period of 1992-2017.

The Journal IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors is accepting papers for a special issue on Human-Robot Collaboration in Occupational Settings. Manuscripts are due June 30, 2023.

CPWR publishes: key findings, “Effects of Drones on Construction Workers at Height” and the final report, “Safety Challenges of UAV Integration in the Construction Industry: Focusing on Workers at Height.”

CORR Mission: Provide scientific leadership to guide the development and use of occupational robots that enhance worker safety, health, and wellbeing.