Industrial Robots, Automation, Workplace Safety, Occupational Safety
Working Papers Series
For helpful comments and suggestions, the authors thank Gary Engelhardt and Jeffrey Kubik. The data used in this project are available online: OSHA data enforcement (enforcedata.dol.gov/views/data_summary.php) and IFR robot data from Acemoglu and Restrepo (2020) (economics.mit.edu/faculty/acemoglu/data/robotsjobs).
Economic Policy | Economics | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
This study measures the effect of industrial robots on workplace safety at the commuting zone level, exploiting potentially exogenous variation in robot exposure due to technological progress. Workplace safety is measured by workers involved in severe or fatal accidents inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. From 2000 to 2007, we find that one additional robot in exposure per 1,000 workers decreased the OSHA accident rate at the mean by 15.1 percent. We also find that robot exposure decreased OSHA violations and accidents more likely to be affected by robot penetration, specifically those involving machinery or electrical.
Li, Ling and Singleton, Perry, "The Effect of Industrial Robots on Workplace Safety" (2021). Center for Policy Research. 276.
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