Can robotic workers make your workplace unsafe?

With the advent of technology today, robots and robotics have fast become a staple part of the manufacturing and construction industry. They are a significant fixture in most assembly lines in the United States, working together with human employees to increase overall productivity.

However, these robotic workers are still machines and have yet to grasp the legal standard of executing tasks with reasonable care. Similarly, a machine will not tell you when it is feeling under the weather. Robotic workers can pose significant risks and introduce new hazards to human employees in the workplace.

What are workplace hazards associated with robotic workers?

Machines malfunction. They need maintenance, troubleshooting, reprogramming and readjustments whenever necessary. Mechanical failures can cause gripper machines to release or hurl objects, hurting employees. If employers incorporate robotic workers in the workplace, they must provide employees with adequate training and safety preventive measures to ensure accidents do not happen. Otherwise, the following accidents and injuries can occur:

  • Crushing or trapping hazards
  • Machine and human collisions
  • Mechanical parts accidents
  • Electrocution and shock injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Exposure to continuous noise pollution
  • Ergonomic risk hazards and repetitive strain injuries
  • Vibration syndrome
  • Explosions

California requires employers to conduct injury and illness prevention programs to avoid such accidents. Suppose human employees do not know how to properly program or operate a robot. The robot could move unexpectedly and chaotically, causing severe damage to the people and property around.

What happens if you suffer injuries because of robotic workers?

Your employer should provide workers’ compensation for accidents you sustain in the workplace, including those that happen because of robotic workers. If your employer did not give you compensation for your injuries, you can also pursue a personal injury claim. Your employer is responsible for your safety and health in the workplace.


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