How to Ensure Workplace Safety with Robots

As technology grows to be more and more intelligent, robots can be built and programmed for dangerous machines and practices.

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There are bound to be machines and processes that are less safe than other jobs. One way that emerging tech in robots and artificial intelligence (AI) could improve this is by taking the jobs that are more dangerous out of the hands of humans and automating them.

Guidance Automation’s survey found that 73 percent of surveyed businesses in manufacturing think automation is key to progressing the industry. This can benefit worker safety and make daily executables more efficient across the board.

As technology grows to be more and more intelligent, robots can be built and programmed for dangerous machines and practices, meaning there’s a significantly reduced risk of injury to the human workforce. This could allow these human workers to retrain to make their role more focused on maintaining the robot or working alongside it to carry out the process effectively.

Collaborating with Robots

You still need the human element in the workplace to be effective and efficient. This is why as good as it is to introduce robots to automate processes, we need to introduce them to make human jobs safer. And advancements in onsite technology could do just that.

This could be done using sensors being attached to the machines or certain areas of the workplace that are more dangerous. In the event they come into proximity of a dangerous machine, the sensor could be tripped and switch off the machinery. Alternatively, if there’s an area that requires a specific safety item to access, an alarm could be activated to alert workers on what they require to enter.

Robotics also allows for remote operation of machinery and vehicles. This allows for greater control of how they operate without putting a human worker at greater risk.

Another option to increase safety through automation is through the use of collaborative robots. Welding cobots are designed to collaborate with humans in a shared working environment. They are equipped with advanced safety features that enable them to detect humans in close proximity to avoid collisions.

For Training and Visualization

Robots have the potential to make workplaces much safer, and not just during the working day, but also during training scenarios. Being able to visualize and identify risks before even entering a workplace can help to significantly reduce accident and injury rates.

Drones are a fantastic solution for training and visualization, as you can fly them remotely and use their in-built camera to assess the workplace or site and make notes on what could be problem areas. That way, when it comes time to begin your laser welding and get things set up, you know what may need to be addressed to ensure the health and safety of yourself and your colleagues.

They’re not technically robots, but virtual and augmented reality helmets could be hugely useful for safety training. Having these headsets synced up so workers can be put in scenarios to analyze the dangers and make sure they’re ready for the real thing can help to reduce potential accidents and injuries.

While robots will offer much greater options to keep workplaces safe, they won’t be likely to force humans out of work. If anything, they’ll create more opportunities for workforces to allow better integration with technology and how it can help manage processes.

It’s crucial that any robot or AI that is introduced to a stage of a process is met with adequate employee training - ensuring workers have the knowledge should they need to adjust or update their systems. That way, safety is ensured, and everything continues to run smoothly.

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