How robot co-workers could enhance occupational safety and health

The workplace safety and health benefits of robot co-workers – or ‘co-bots’ – and other emerging technologies will be shared at a Conference organised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) on 5 November.

IOSH’s Future Leaders Conference has been designed to support members of the Future Leaders Community – which includes IOSH Student Members, OSH professionals under the age of 35 and those who have been in the profession for under five years.

In a session titled ‘Robots: meet your new colleagues’, health and safety consultant and writer Bridget Leathley will discuss how the increasing use of artificial intelligence and robotics can have a positive impact on the workplace – and cautions that those who do not embrace the technology risk being left behind. 

Bridget said: “The world of work is changing with the adoption of new technologies. Manual work will become increasingly automated over the coming decades. Potentially, this could have huge benefits in occupational safety and health – for example, minimising repetitive tasks to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, and removing tasks which expose people to harmful vibration or noise. It is vital organisations modernise by understanding how to integrate this technology to get both productivity and OSH benefits.

“Businesses increasingly require OSH professionals to be sufficiently familiar with this technology to know how to use it to support their work. New and early-career OSH professionals joining the industry are well-placed to embrace this technology revolution. By understanding how this technology can make workplaces safer and healthier, OSH professionals can influence how the technology is adopted in their organisations.”

Throughout the Conference, early career professionals working in safety and health will be sharing and receiving essential career advice, tips and support for succeeding in their careers and overcoming challenges in their roles.

One theme of the Conference is the need for the modern OSH professional to demonstrate a broad range of competencies to be able to influence within their organisations and keep up to date with best practice.

The full Conference programme and more information about registering for the Future Leaders Conference is available here: https://www.iosh.com/FLConference

IOSH’s Future Leaders Conference takes place on Tuesday 5 November at the Crowne Plaza, Birmingham NEC, Pendigo Way, Birmingham B40 1PS.

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