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Robotics and the possibility of unsafe working conditions


Robotics and the possibility of unsafe working conditions

Workers in South Carolina and around the country may have a new area of concern when doing their jobs. Robotic workstations are becoming increasingly prominent in many areas of employment. The fact that robots are performing a large number of jobs is receiving increased attention from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The agency is determining how to protect workers from dangerous working conditions and being injured on the job when working with robots.

Robot implementation is not always simple. There are numerous issues, such as the amount of space the robot will need to ensure proper functionality and safety to human workers, that should be considered. A safety fence of at least 6 feet in height must be in place around the robot for protection. Other issues for workers to think about are the installation of light switches and fixed stops, barriers between the equipment and objects, and the potential faults of floor markings, rails and perimeter guards.

Workers and their supervisors should have adequate training with robotics. They should know the robot’s function, how it can be dangerous, ways in which it is programmed, and the location of the emergency stop buttons. If new employees are not fully acclimated to these machines, another worker could get injured in an accident.

Policies and safety assessments are imperative when it comes to robots in the workplace. Although there is greater attention being paid to the rising use of technology with robots, workers can still get hurt due to an error or misuse. If this happens, an injured victim may want to obtain the advice of counsel on the advisability of filing a workers’ compensation claim.