Work Item
ASTM WK72887

New Guide for Application of Safety Risk Management to Exoskeletons

1. Scope

This guide provides basic principles of applying risk management to exoskeletons. The guidelines elicited in this standard are purposefully broad, so as to be relevant to the wide array of exoskeletons currently available on the market and to new exoskeleton designs that can be anticipated in the near future. The standard:
- describes the objectives of applying risk management to exoskeletons,
- proposes a process of risk management applied throughout the exoskeleton life-cycle,
- proposes a risk assessment process,
- elicits responsibilities of stakeholders in managing risks.
The notion of “risk management” used in this guide addresses specifically risks related to health and safety of people. References are given for addressing risks related to other objectives, such as such as financial and environmental goals.


exoskeleton; exo; risk; risk management; safety; life cycle


A wide array of exoskeletons is becoming available on the market to augment, enable, assist, and/or enhance the user’s physical activity. It is critical to identify and manage risks related to exoskeletons so as to prevent unacceptable risks to the safety and health of users, personnel and bystanders who interact with exoskeletons directly or indirectly. Exoskeletons entail a unique combination of safety concerns that distinguish them from other modern technologies. These include: (1) a large diversity of integrated components and technologies; (2) a wide array of applications; and (3) tight kinematic and kinetic coupling to the user. Numerous standard guidelines, processes and test methods are becoming available to guide exoskeleton producers and implementers on particular aspects of risk management. While these guidelines and methods are relevant and important to assess exoskeleton related safety concerns, their isolated application may be insufficient to ensure prevention of unacceptable risks. Guidelines to risk management that encompass the entire exoskeleton life-cycle and that define roles and responsibilities of respective stakeholders in risk management are needed.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: F48.02

Committee: F48

Staff Manager: Nora Nimmerichter

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 05-05-2020

Technical Contact: Victoria Budico

Item: 000