As companies transition from human workers to robots performing tasks in the workplace, OSHA is keeping its eye on potential safety issues. Companies that don’t have comprehensive safety plans related to working with robots could be at risk of receiving OSHA citations. Although current regulations may be 15 years old or older, the organization believes that they provide an adequate regulatory framework for employers to follow.
To reduce the risk of workplace injuries in areas occupied by robots, walls and gates should be erected around such machines. This will prevent human workers from entering robot work areas where they could be hurt by moving parts. While caution tape or other floor markings may decrease the risk of injury, they are not sufficient to keep workers free from harm. Ideally, an employer will install a presence sensing device that will slow or stop the robot when a human is nearby.
Employee training programs and a company safety policy can reduce the risk of employees getting hurt while on the job. Both new employees and experienced workers should receive training whenever necessary to keep them up-to-date about the equipment that they are working with. New hires should not be allowed to work with machines on their own until they can do so in a safe and responsible manner.
Those who are hurt in a workplace accident may wish to talk to an attorney regarding their injuries. It may be possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits that may pay for medical treatment and long-term care expenses. They may also include a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period. Many claimants find the assistance of an attorney to be helpful at all stages of the process.