It’s not news to anyone that the manufacturing industry is facing a massive shift. Between artificial intelligence, automation, and other advanced technologies, manufacturing is quickly becoming a more tech-focused and “hands-off” line of work. In 2014, there were 1.5 million industrial robots in factories and warehouses, and that number only continues to climb.
However, as more and more tasks are handed over to the “bots”, one thing must not be swept up in the flurry of technological advancement: workplace safety. Sure there’s a lot of technology that empowers enhanced safety, but in reality it’s the people behind the machinery that drive a successful safety culture. As you and your team work side-by-side with newer, smarter machines, don’t forget these key points:
Technology can make mistakes, too.
No one’s perfect—and that includes that robotic arm working on the line. It’s critical for manufacturing workers to be aware that malfunctions will happen, and they can be dangerous. Preventative analytics technology and regularly-scheduled maintenance can help prevent glitches, breakdowns, and other problems from occurring and putting your workers in harm’s way.
The human mind is irreplaceable.
Though artificial intelligence has come a long way, especially in recent years, it’s certainly no replacement for the human elements of the job—things such as spur-of-the-moment problem solving, attention to detail, and even simply common sense. If you’re working with more automated elements, you still have to bring your “A” game—always be aware of your surroundings, report any red flags, and ensure you’re equipped with the proper training and gear to keep you safe on the job.
A safe and healthy workplace extends beyond the areas in which automation is involved.
OSHA identifies slips, trips, and falls as the most frequent workplace and safety violation. You can’t put the blame on artificial intelligence for that one. It’s critical to ensure your entire environment—not just areas in which heavy machinery is being used—is free from hazards. Plus, it’s important to take a holistic look at what makes up a safe and healthy environment. Things like using green cleaning products, implementing a wellness program, and providing top-notch PPE equipment can go a long way in ensuring a safe workspace, as well as a healthy workforce.
Stay Safe Alongside Technology with US Standard Products
With all this change in the industry, one thing remains the same: safety trumps all. To ensure your team is equipped with all the proper safety gear for the job, contact US Standard Products, a nationwide provider of some of the highest quality operational and safety products. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: