New Center Focusing on Robots and Human Safety Underlines the Need to Exercise New Modes of Caution in the Workplace, says Legal Defenders

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The Los Angeles based personal injury law firm comments on a recent article that, as an era of ultra-high technology rapidly approaches, so will a host of new safety issues.

A robot butler from Woody Allen's 1973 "Sleeper"

It’s well past time to take a serious look at how the use of robots is already impacting public health and safety, and how that will evolve over time.

An October 23 article on Safety + Health reports on the formation of the Center for Occupational Robotics Research, organized by NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). The center will focus on the safety pluses and minuses of working with robots in the workplace and providing leadership on government policy as it relates to robots and safety. Legal Defenders at the Law Offices of Burg & Brock, a Los Angeles personal injury law firm, says that it’s well past time to take a serious look at how the use of robots at work is already impacting public health and safety, and how that will evolve over time.

Legal Defenders notes that it’s time for people to realize that – even if they aren’t yet quite on the level of R2-D2 from “Star Wars” and Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – robots have indeed left the realm of science fiction and entered our everyday lives…and it happened decades ago. As NIOSH points out, it has counted 61 workplace deaths involving the use of robots between the years 1992 to 2015.

Without all kinds of precautions being taken by owners, managers, and workers at all types of facilities, that number is in danger of increasing exponentially if the danger is ignored, says Legal Defenders. Moreover, with the rise of artificial intelligence and ever more complex robots entering the real world, developers and managers will need something more than theoretical principles likes Isaac Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics, says Legal Defenders. (For those unfamiliar with the laws developed by the legendary science fiction author, the first law states “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” The other laws relate to how a robot may not follow orders that conflict with the first law nor should attempts at self-preservation conflict with the other laws.)

While Asimov’s laws might seem to furnish a framework for worker safety with robots, it’s already apparent that they are not practical and appropriate for most situations, says Legal Defenders. The law firm says that the responsibility will therefore be on the entire management and staff of corporations and governmental agencies to ensure that robots are consistently exhibiting safe interactions with their human colleagues. With robots doing everything from operating heavy machinery to driving vehicles on the open road, ensuring the safe usage of robotic technology is going to be a high priority for all kinds of businesses and organizations concerned with safety and preventing liability issues, says the law firm. It concludes by noting that it’s important for everyone who works in any field at all to realize that the future really is now.

Readers who are interested in how the personal injury specialists of Legal Defenders at the Law Offices of Burg & Brock can help their own personal futures may call (800) 926-8197 or visit the firm’s website at Legal Defenders is led by Dr. Cameron Yadidi Brock.

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Bob Westal
Cyberset Corp
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