As manufacturing technology has evolved, the industry has long waited for OSHA regulations to catch up. In particular, lockout/tagout requirements (LOTO) have never allowed the latest control circuit technologies to protect workers. In addition, until now, OSHA has not addressed safety issues involving the latest wave of robotics in the workplace. That change now appears to be underway.

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When MSHA asked in a request for information (“RFI”) for data, experiences, and ideas on how to reduce “powered haulage” accidents, the implication of many of the RFI questions was that MSHA is looking to push mines to adopt new 21st-century technologies, such as object detection and collision avoidance systems. In response, Husch Blackwell’s Mining Coalition submitted detailed comments last month that outlined programs, strategies, and technologies that operators have found to be successful – and those that haven’t yet worked.
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