9 Ways Robotics can improve your workplace safety

July 31, 2023

Think robots are too dangerous to use in your workplace? Think again.

9 Ways Robotics can improve your workplace safety

Think robots are too dangerous to use in your workplace?

Think again.

You may be surprised to learn that robots can actually enhance worker safety.

Workplaces across the globe are increasingly turning to advanced automation and robotics to enrich worker safety and well-being.

Robots have existed in the workplace for decades, but their presence is rapidly growing, along with advancements in their capabilities.

Industrial robots are no longer confined to cages or cells. Today’s robots are designed to work alongside or move near human workers.

Robots can help to significantly improve safety by performing dangerous, dirty, difficult or repetitive tasks.

Here are nine ways robotics can improve your workplace safety:

  1. Hazardous Tasks: Robots can be employed to perform dangerous tasks, such as working in environments with extreme temperatures, toxic substances – even high levels of radiation. The health risk for human workers is reduced significantly.
  2. Hazardous Machines: Industrial workplaces can pose many safety risks. This includes working with hazardous and dangerous machines. Robots can now perform many of those tasks while human operators are a safe distance away.
  3. Dangerous Environments: This includes working at heights, working underground, working in tight spaces or in areas with poor visibility or minimal lighting. In many of those situations, a robot may be used to perform the task – protecting human workers from injury. Also, remotely operated robots can be used to inspect hazardous areas, minimising the need for humans to enter dangerous environments.
  4. Repetitive Movements: Repetitive jobs often cause repetitive motion injuries to human workers including muscle strain, tingling or numbness, nerve pain and weakness in hands. By using robots to perform these tasks, injuries to humans are drastically reduced. Robotic systems excel at carrying out repetitive tasks with precision and consistency. Collaborative robots (cobots) can work alongside humans to assist with physically demanding tasks. Cobots can help maintain proper ergonomics in the workplace and reduce the risk of injuries associated with poor posture or repetitive motions.
  5. Heavy Lifting: Applications that require workers to continually bend or pick up items can result in many types of muscle strain and injury over time. Robots can lift and move heavy objects without strain or fatigue. This eliminates the risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders for workers who would otherwise have to perform these tasks manually.
  6. Safety Monitoring: Robots equipped with sensors can monitor the work environment for potential hazards such as gas leaks, chemical spills, or structural integrity issues. They can provide early warnings and help prevent accidents. Some robots can sense when a human is near a dangerous machine. The robot can then reliably stop the machine until the individual is at a safe distance, preventing an injury from occurring.
  7. Predictive Maintenance: Robots can conduct regular inspections and collect data on equipment condition, identifying potential failures before they occur. This proactive approach to maintenance reduces the risk of accidents caused by equipment malfunctions.
  8. Social Distancing: By deploying robots and reducing the number of workers on the factory floor you can increase the space between workers and greatly decrease infection rates. If social distancing is required at your workplace as a safety precaution, robots can help to prevent the spread of viruses between human workers.
  9. Training and Simulation: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies can be integrated into robotic systems to provide realistic training scenarios for workers. This allows them to practice handling hazardous situations without exposing themselves to actual risks.

These are just a few examples of how robotics can enhance your workplace safety. The specific applications and benefits may vary depending on your industry and the work being performed.

The types of industrial robots you may consider to boost your workplace safety include:

  • Collaborative robots – Often used for pick & place, palletising and quality inspection
  • Mobile robots – Often used for warehousing, palletising and material handling
  • SCARA robots – Often used for assembly and pick and place tasks
  • Delta robots – Often used for pick & place, high-precision assembly and packing

The experts at OMRON can show you how a robot can improve safety in your workplace.

We’ll help you identify the tasks that are best performed by a robot. We can also assist you to select the most appropriate robot for your particular application.

If you’re looking for the best robotics safety solutions, contact the experts at OMRON today.

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