Business Good experience Lifestyle

How Automation Enhances Your Workplace Safety Program

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Automation has been the buzzword lately in the realm of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Primarily, it’s been thrown around as an excellent solution to boost productivity and efficiency. Now, more businesses are discovering how it can help enhance workplace safety programs.

This article will discuss ways automation can improve safety in your workplace. However, automation is a broad term with many definitions. So, to make this term a bit clearer, automation can be considered any tool, device, technology, software, and process that can work on jobs and tasks—whether physical or virtual—that humans do. (1)

Mainly, automation’s goal is to perform work with less or without human input. It can be in the form of artificial intelligence, robots, heavy machinery, devices with microcontrollers, computer programs, et cetera.

Automation tools and resources have been developed to support every business niche. It just comes down to finding the one that works best for you. An excellent example of this is pest control software from Jobber. This automation software has been specifically developed to support businesses operating in the field service sector. (1)

Here’s how automation can significantly help your attempts to make your company’s workplace a much better and safer place:

Replace people working in dangerous jobs

One of the things that automation does in the workplace is to replace people with robotic arms and automated machinery. Industries and workplaces that deal with toxic chemicals and heavy machinery greatly benefit from automation in terms of safety—effectively removing workers from harm’s way.

For example, instead of workers physically handling metal sheets in a metal stamping machine, you can let machines do it through robotic process automation (RPA). It’ll significantly reduce the risk of having someone’s arms or hands getting crushed.

Reallocate personnel

It’s been said that automation can replace people in the workplace. Of course, instead of outright firing people, you can reallocate freed-up staff to work on your safety program. For instance, instead of working directly in production, they can move to quality assurance or supervisorial positions instead.

If possible, you can reallocate these freed staff as safety officers to further reinforce your workplace safety program. They’ll be primarily tasked to perform audits, inspections, and training to promote the safety of everyone in your workplace’s vicinity. They’ll also be the ones who’ll ensure that everything on your job safety checklist is followed.

Make difficult tasks easier

There are instances wherein automatons and robots can’t fully replace people. After all, full automation is still a pipedream for some industries. However, the current level of automation technology is enough to make complex tasks easier for workers, which is another benefit automation brings to today’s workforce.

For example, repeatedly hammering metal can cause repetitive stress injuries, like bursitis, in the metalworking industry. To resolve this, smithies can take advantage of automated tools like power hammers. While they’re not fully automatic, they can significantly make the difficult task of smithing a lot easier and prevent work-related injuries. Aside from saving your workers from pain, it can keep you from unnecessary workers’ comp and insurance-related issues, which is financially healthy for your part. (2)

Reduce human errors

In addition to making things easier for workers, automation can reduce human interaction and work in the workplace. This means that automation can decrease the chances of humans introducing mistakes and errors into the business processes, which may also introduce incidents. (3)

For example, battery assembly is a highly mind-numbing task that involves repeatedly placing and setting up batteries into packs. Doing it for hours can make a worker susceptible to making mistakes, like putting batteries in the wrong polarity, which can be dangerous. Automating this process can significantly reduce man-caused accidents in the workplace and potentially in your customers’ premises.

Add another layer of security

Aside from making things efficient and faster, automation can also include safety features and functionalities into the workplace.

For example, while safe and rescue groups don’t work in one workplace, they often perform their duties in hazardous locations. Often, they use small mobile robots to do search operations. In addition to remotely surveying dangerous sites and areas, these robots are usually equipped with sensors, like toxic gas sensors, that can further prevent rescuers from unforeseeable health risks.

Conclusion

Those are a few ways automation can help you improve your workplace safety program. Take note that safety is only one of the benefits you can reap once you embrace automation technology. Be sure to consider it, especially if you want to reduce the risk of injuries and other incidents in your workplace significantly.

References

  1. “What Is Automation?”, Source: https://www.ibm.com/topics/automation
  2. “Carpentry, hammering and a repetitive stress injury”, Source: https://www.dixondaleylaw.com/blog/2019/08/carpentry-hammering-and-a-repetitive-stress-injury/
  3. “Why Automation?”: 10 Top Benefits Of Automation For Your Business”, Source: https://emlii.com/top-benefits-of-automation-for-business/

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.