Podcast: What’s trending in workplace safety?

Podcast: What’s trending in workplace safety?

April 16, 2024
In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, the EHS Today editorial team discusses the latest news and developments concerning workplace safety.

Dave Blanchard, editor in chief of EHS Today, recently spoke with managing editor Nicole Stempak and senior editor Adrienne Selko about how the field of industrial healthy and safety is evolving and how to prepare for these inevitable changes. In this episode, they discuss:

  • Workplace stress and its true cost to employers
  • Industrial robots and their potential to reduce injuries
  • Safety lessons learned from the Baltimore bridge collapse

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

I'm going to talk about industrial robots and their ability to reduce injuries. Last month, I was watching a video for the humanoid robot called Apollo that was working in a Mercedes-Benz plant. It was lifting and carrying heavy boxes, putting things on shelves, and performing a number of tasks that are less than ideal for people to perform. My first thought was this should really be able to move the needle on unnecessary injuries in a warehouse or distribution center. So, I looked around to see what information was out there, and it turns out the National Safety Council also sees potential for improvement with robots working alongside humans.

They highlighted this issue in their 2023 report called “Work to Zero,” and they looked at the whole gamut of robots, including autonomous, mobile robots, automated guided vehicles, articulated robots, humanoid robots, and collaborative robots. They found that these are the areas where robots can improve working conditions: confined entry inspections, handling hazardous material, reducing the risk of human exposure to toxic gases, high temperatures, electric shock hazards and also falls from heights. They also noted that cobots and robotic arms are well established for repetitive manual tasks such as machine tending, parts repositioning, and pick and place. Such deployments can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive manual work and allow workers to focus on more varied, complex tasks.

About the Author

Dave Blanchard

During his career, Dave Blanchard has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeek, EHS Today, Material Handling & Logistics, Logistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

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