Safer Workplaces Owing To The Increased Use Of Robotics And Autonomous Vehicles


October 02, 2017

Workers Compensation Attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia Comment On Safer Workplaces Owing To The Increased Use Of Robotics And Autonomous Vehicles

Georgia's workers' lives may be safer thanks to the introduction of robotics into the workplace. Robotics is not new to the work environment, especially in many manufacturing facilities. However, as robotic technology becomes more user-friendly and less expensive, companies will use robotic advancements to their advantage. Robotics, and now autonomous vehicles, used in warehouse settings can make the workplace safer for all. However, there are dangers that lurk around every corner. Consequently, every worker must be safety-conscious, which helps avoid injury, or death, from a job-related accident.

Autonomous vehicles have entered the workplace. Once reserved for cars, the technology has developed into uses that exceed a self-driving car. Now self-driving forklifts are being used in some workhouses, according to Foxnews.com. The self-propelled forklifts drive around warehouses, lift heavy loads and unload them. One manufacturer described how his autonomous forklifts lifted extremely heavy loads and placed the cargo where it needs to go to assist the workers, and not replace them.

Self-driving forklifts might be a viable alternative for some warehouses. The most recent version of the autonomous forklift is programmed to maneuver around the facility as it is currently laid out. Previous versions of the forklift required redesigning the warehouse to accommodate the forklift. Now, the forklift can "see" its way around current designs which saves time and money for companies. The latest version uses five cameras in conjunction with visual recognition software, which is programmed with algorithms that act as the forklift's eyes. The five cameras allow for the vehicle to see 360 degrees around. Autonomous automobiles, on the other hand, rely upon radar and lidar to judge the physical distance from the car to another object. The forklift's technology, on the other hand, relies on the lighting in the warehouse to be sufficiently bright so that the forklift's sensors record an accurate picture of its surroundings. Automobile manufacturers use radar and lidar because the lighting in the outside world cannot be controlled.

The company manufacturing and distributing the forklifts has not released their product, but are filling orders rapidly. Therefore, all of the benefits described above are the hopes of the company based on the testing of prototypes. However, it boasts a sterling safety record with its other lines of autonomous vehicles currently in use in warehouses around the globe. The company also claims that its autonomous vehicles have traveled over 700,000 miles while employed by various manufacturers without a reported injury. That is a significant achievement.

Autonomy in the workplace can make work environments safer. However, there is one enormous proviso: the companies using this technology must train their employees sufficiently to take advantage of the safety features offered by these advancements. Having a vehicle that can maneuver itself around a facility is beneficial only if employees understand what to do when the machine is in motion. The employee needs to understand the capabilities of the machine so that the employee can predict its movements and avoid becoming trapped. Additionally, employees must receive training on what procedures to follow if the forklift or another autonomous vehicle in use breaks down. Without the requisite safety training, the employee is only marginally safer in the work environment. Additionally, governmental agencies like OSHA will undoubtedly weigh in on the appropriate safety measures employees must follow when working with autonomous vehicles in the workplace.

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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence or at work, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Our Workers Compensation Attorneys in Atlanta have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty-three years.

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