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.
- 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.
- 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.