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Avoiding injuries from robotics at work

Oklahoma workers whose jobs entail being around robotics may be interested to learn about the safety regulations that have been enacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Injuries involving robotic equipment often occur when workers are maintaining them, repairing them, adjusting them or otherwise using them. There are several precautions employers should take to help prevent these types of injuries.

According to OSHA, robotic workstations should have a fence that is at least six feet tall that has an electric gate to separate it from other work areas. When the gate is open, the robotic equipment arms and pieces should stop moving. OSHA does not consider perimeter chains, ropes or floor markings to be sufficient protection for employees.

OSHA also recommends that troubleshooting should be remote as much as possible via a networked computer system. Emergency stops should be located throughout, and those that have to work on the equipment should have a portable emergency stop available as well. Thorough training programs should be regularly conducted and should not be limited to new employees alone. Refresher courses should also be conducted on an ongoing basis.

On-the-job injuries can often be catastrophic and permanently disabling. Injured victims may be eligible to file a claim with their employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. Workers' compensation benefits may be available to pay for all current and future related medical expenses and treatment needs as well as provide a portion of wages that were lost when the injured employee was unable to work. Many people in this situation obtain the assistance of an attorney who has experience with the claims process.

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