Workplace Violence and Automation

Workplace violence is a real problem in the United States: some two million episodes of workplace violence take place each year. Now, homicide is the second most common cause of death in the workplace.

A 1995 report on workplace violence listed automation as one of the causes of these episodes.

On the other hand, security robot patrols are also proposed as a solution to the problem. With heat sensors, facial recognition, and identification of blacklisted phones, security robots can recognize suspicious people on factory premises more quickly than human security personnel. They can also provide an intimidating presence along with rapid emergency communication capacity.

Automation solutions

Other kinds of automation solutions have also been suggested. One approach is to introduce automation to streamline repetitive tasks and reduce the stress workers feel. Reduced stress can stave off burnout and make it less likely that workers will begin the spiral into conflict that often precedes workplace violence.

The problem is that introducing automation can — like any change — be stressful in and of itself. Employees have to change their workflow, learn new skills, adjust to new tools, and sometimes fear that their jobs will be eliminated.

Another automation solution for workplace violence is surveillance. A combination of modern listening tools and AI can sometimes suss out workers who are prone to violence. Some of the behaviors that have been identified as precursors to violent behavior in the workplace might be beyond automated tools’ ability to identify. For example, poor personal hygiene is one tip-off.

However, AI can catch threatening emails, obsessive discussion of guns, and increasing incivility. Virtual reality training and weapon detection systems are other technologies that seem promising.

We hope you will never need to cope with workplace violence. If you need support or service for your Rexroth electric motion control systems, though, we can help. Contact us immediately for factory repair and reman.

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