Robots have come a long way since their early depictions in science fiction novels and amazing Will Smith movies. If you’re a business owner or employee, or even a student studying Robotics, you probably have some understanding of the complex technology that’s used to use robots in the workplace. Injuries can occur, but robots can still reduce injuries if you think of the healthy balance that’s required for staffing both human employees and robots. The future of technology includes using robots to reduce worker injuries. Here is what you need to know about robots and workplace injuries.
Understanding Risks and Common Injuries in the Workplace
Anyone who’s ever worked knows how freak accidents and injuries can take place. From out of nowhere, a drink spilled in an aisle at a grocery store turns into a slip and fall that results in severe injuries. Humans can strain muscles, tear ligaments, break and fracture bones, suffer deep cuts and lacerations, fall, slip, and suffer injuries from twisting their bodies in ways that today’s demanding jobs require. According to the Safety Institute, slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims. They’re also the number one cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. So, a robot can help in a workplace where an adult above the age of 50 might need to work at a slower pace. And that’s fewer people who have to leave work when they may have wanted to continue working if not for an injury.
Robot Strength and Endurance
A robot is made out of a combination of steel, cast iron, and aluminum. Materials used in a robot are somewhat indestructible in the sense that robots cannot experience pain or feelings. While human employees will eventually experience fatigue, overwhelm, frustration, and cognitive difficulties, a robot can function for hours at a time with no impact on speed, agility, and overall performance. Depending on the model’s build, some robots can lift objects over 100 lbs., while others can work at high speeds while taking advantage of technology that keeps the bots moving together in a straight line. The overall endurance and strength included with a robot make the idea of deploying them suitable to prevent worker injuries.
Human Error Amid Absence of Robots
Humans make mistakes that robots cannot. Since March 2020, unemployment rates have soared from 3.5% to 11.1% with a real rate of 18%. One reason behind unemployment is an employee base that lacks needed skillsets to perform in the workplace. Additionally, humans make mistakes, including miscalculations, misjudgments, logic problems, irrational thinking, thinking rooted in intense emotions, and a pure lack of common sense. Robots will likely follow a set of parameters, instructions, and procedures based on programming. Whether or not the robots can be routed to the Internet or hooked up to Wi-Fi, or even programmed so that employers can make adjustments to the fly is left to the advancements in technology rather than the limits of human effort.
Finding a Healthy Balance Between Robots and Humans
Data transmission and storage security are imperative in modern enterprises. Reducing injuries means having enough humans doing what humans do, and robots doing what robots are designed to do. As a business owner, you need a healthy balance of robots and humans to ensure that information and data are processed relative to specific job functions. If a human is expected to do something that a robot cannot (such as offer emotional support to a struggling coworker), having that extra human in place will be more effective for the business than having three robots that can’t connect with humans emotionally. You need that balance between logic and feeling, whether the robots are deployed in the aisles of Wal-Mart or throughout the sidewalks in a park. Reduce injuries
Understand the impact of choosing robots over humans. If you’re busy, it is complex and busy, too many robots might do more harm than good, as robots can’t relate to humans the way other humans can. But at the same time, workplace injuries are often the result of human error and irrational thinking, and where a human might get it wrong, a robot would likely make the right choices for your business every time. As long as you have a healthy balance, you’ll be sure to maintain a safe environment for your business going forward.