As a South Carolina construction worker, you understand how important it is for employers to properly implement safety measures. Safety should be a top priority in an industry that is inherently risky. One new concern for many is how the implementation of robotics, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation will affect the safety and well-being of workers.
If you are a construction worker, you may worry that at some point, a robot or some form of AI could take your job. When polled, around 30% expressed concerns about their job security, but almost 50% expressed concerns about how safe it would be to work near machines and automated equipment.
Better safety or more risks?
One of the main concerns that construction workers have regarding AI and other types of automated equipment is determining who is responsible when things go wrong. What happens if there is a malfunction? Could a potential malfunction threaten the safety of workers? These are valid concerns, and any widespread use of AI or robotics should come after extensive testing.
There are some, however, who think that technological advances are, overall, a good thing. There is hope that the appropriate application of robotics and more can reduce the number of jobsite accidents and free workers from having to perform certain dangerous tasks.
The benefits of technology
When used in the right way, robotics and AI can benefit the construction industry. It can help contractors get more done on a tight schedule without compromising the safety of workers. This is increasingly important as it becomes more difficult to find skilled workers to do certain jobs.
Certain things, like types of exoskeletons, could be more widely used on construction sites in the near future. For example, there are certain vests that can support a worker's arms while he or she is lifting something heavy. This would allow people to work longer but with a significantly lower risk of injury or fatigue.
Protecting your rights
With or without the use of AI and robotics on your jobsite, your safety as a worker should be a priority. If you experience an injury while working on a construction site or doing something related to your employment, you have the right to seek benefits and support through a workers' compensation claim.
Injured workers may find it beneficial to seek the support of an experienced attorney when navigating the claims process fighting to get the specific benefits necessary for a full and fair recovery.