Automation in factories has faced lots of hurdles. However, robot manufacturers and early adopters have come to a common conclusion. That automation makes the workplace inherently safer.
Here are some reasons that have been put across to show why and how automation improves workplace safety.
Limited Contact with Dangerous and Harmful Substances
Many manufacturing entities manufacture or interact with harmful substances such as dangerous chemicals in their manufacturing processes. When employees deal with these substances, it is highly likely that they develop significant health problems that identify a factory as a dangerous place to work.
In addition, factories that are seen as dangerous and unsafe workplaces have a problem attracting and retaining a qualified workforce. In addition, they have large insurance expenses due to the health problems that their employees suffer. Also, they are likely to be shut down by safety authorities as a result.
The use of robots ensures that employees do not have to come into contact with harmful products. All tasks related to these products can be easily automated and all the associated problems were forgotten.
Robots can Easily Lift and Carry Heavy Weights
Like coming into contact with harmful substances, consistently lifting heavy weights causes numerous health problems. As a result, many factories are opting for manufacturing automation to improve the safety of their workers and their workplace.
Tasks such as palletizing or warehouse management can be easily assigned to robots. This will reduce a huge toll on the human workers that usually carry out these tasks. Robots for these tasks can be mechanized vehicles and loaders that can carry much more than a single employee.
They also help manufacturing entities reduce lots of their employee costs. This is because one robot can carry out the work of a large number of employees.
Injuries from Repetitive Tasks
Industrial studies have shown that repetitive tasks are a major contributor to workplace injuries. Automation with robots significantly reduces the number of repetitive tasks that are handled by human employees. Hence increasing the safety of the factory.
Repetitive tasks are best left to robots that are mechanical and automatic. Unlike human beings, they will not get bored with the same task and lose concentration which is most likely the largest cause of these injuries.
Use of collaborative robots
Collaborative robots as the name suggests are robots that can work collaboratively with human workers. Also known as cobots, they work alongside and hand-in-hand literally with factory workers. They are considered a major contributor to creating a much safer workplace.
First, unlike traditional robots that have been known to cause fatal injuries in the workplace, robots are inherently safe. They are built with advanced technology that can sense human presence and ensures that they can reduce their pace when there are human beings near them. This reduces the chances of the robots causing an accident with the humans.
Second, they are designed with smooth edges to ensure that touching them does not lead to dangerous accidents.
They can also take over most of the dangerous and repetitive tasks in the factory to complete automatically. Cobots are, therefore, a major contributor to creating a much safer workplace.
Human Workers can Carry out more Advanced Tasks
With automation in place, we are now sure that we have a much safer workplace. However, if we leave human workers monitoring the dangerous and harmful processes, they are likely to get affected.
Automation makes it possible for human workers to be allocated to other tasks that cannot be carried out by robots. Tasks that require creativity, empathy and on the spot solutions that robots cannot come up with. Also, tasks that need humans to interact with other humans are left to human workers.
These are much safer tasks than those that are left to robots.
Manufacturing automation is a good step towards improving the safety of our factories. The adoption of robots in the factory will ensure that workers are safe and comfortable as they earn a living.