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Safety tips to prevent robot-related workplace accidents

The use of robots is becoming more and more common in many industries. While robots add ease and efficiency to many labor-intensive tasks, they also create additional safety hazards in the workplace.

Two robotic tools that have come under scrutiny recently are the laser-guided forklift and the demolition robot. There has been a growing incidence of worker crushing accidents involving these machines.

The Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program (FACE) has recently released a series of safety recommendations for employers of industries that use these robotic machines.

Laser-guided forklifts:

  • Develop company safety policies and procedures that include the safety instructions from the forklift manufacturer.
  • Train workers about safety hazards specific to laser-guided forklifts.
  • Perform random evaluations of workers to ensure they’re following the required safety guidelines each time.

Demolition robots:

  • Incorporate manufacturer’s safety instructions into workplace training—and ensure that workers adhere to them.
  • Work with operators to develop a list of job hazards for every type of task involving the demolition robot.
  • Train workers to stay outside of the risk zone whenever the robot is in use, is turned on or is not in emergency stop mode.
  • Train workers to continually reevaluate hazards and risk zone.
  • Install a proximity warning system to automatically alert workers whenever they come within an unsafe distance of the demolition robot.
  • Arrange for each operator to work with a spotter, in order to limit the risk operator safety errors.

Being crushed by a forklift or demolition machine can cause serious, long-lasting injuries—or even death. If you or a family member has experienced such an injury, it’s worth consulting with a workplace injury lawyer about your rights.

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