Rios Law Firm PLLC

Can working alongside robots lessen risks of workplace injuries?

Workers in Arizona might fear that automation, artificial intelligence and robots in their workplaces will make their jobs obsolete. Technology and innovation have brought burger-flipping robots, stock pickers in warehouses and fulfillment centers, assembly line workers and more. However, authorities say robots are employment creators rather than job killers, and with them doing the mundane and often dangerous jobs, many workplace injuries can be prevented.

Amazon says that the initial 1,400 robots that were introduced in its facilities nationwide have grown to 45,000, without reducing the numbers of human workers. Machines do not get sick, need vacations, become bored and unmotivated with repetitive and mundane tasks, and they do not need sleep. However, they do become fatigued, and they need caretakers in the form of technicians, programmers and a team of others to diagnose problems and find solutions.

While human workers typically make mistakes when they become tired and fatigued, robots can take over repetitive tasks and never develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. Overexertion might cause robotic workers to break down and need repairs, unlike human workers who develop musculoskeletal disorders. They can also handle dangerous equipment such as welding machines, while human workers are left in charge of all those jobs that robots cannot do.

Although robots might help to keep Arizona workers safer in some industries, workplace injuries will likely continue to occur. When they do, injured workers can recover medical expenses and lost wages through the state-regulated workers' compensation program. Thankfully, resources are available to assist with the legal and administrative proceedings of the benefits claims process.

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