By Kayla Matthews

Robots have numerous potential benefits for the manufacturing space, including increased efficiency and reduced operating cost.

They can also lead to improved safety and health for employees, both by sensing potential dangers in the workplace and taking over the riskiest tasks.

Here are some workplace hazards that robots can tackle.

Repetitive Tasks

Performing the same movement repeatedly, especially at high speeds, can cause repetitive strain injury. Factory workers often perform this kind of work.

Symptoms of repetitive strain injury include pain, swelling, cramping, and weakness. These symptoms can become chronic if the task is performed for a long time or at high intensity. Robots are perfectly suited for completing repetitive tasks, and the equipment and programming required is simple.

For example, after noticing the toll that repetitive tasks was taking on employees, a cheese-packing factory in Sweden added four robots to help with packaging. The robots do their job well, packing 90 units of cheese per minute, and have eliminated repetitive strain injuries on the line.

Harmful Substances

Industrial work can also involve potentially hazardous substances. Robots can take over these tasks to prevent employees from coming into contact with health risks.

Welding, for example, releases harmful fumes. Acute exposure can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation as well as dizziness and nausea. Prolonged exposure can damage the lungs, nervous system, and kidneys, and may lead to several forms of cancer, depending on the fumes.

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