One of the primary challenges facing manufacturers today continues to be their inability to fill open positions, which strains overall productivity and growth. Recent reports and surveys have confirmed that finding skilled workers remains a top challenge for manufacturing executives today. The situation does not appear ready to improve any time soon and the most recent skills gap study from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projects more than half of the 4.6 million manufacturing jobs created over the next decade will go unfilled.
In addition to this challenge, employers in the manufacturing industry are facing immense costs associated with workplace injuries. In 2018, more than 115,500 manufacturing workers and 17,000 warehouse workers missed workdays due to injuries, causing both direct and indirect costs, the latter proving to amount to 20 times greater than direct costs.
More than 104 million work days were lost due to workplace injuries and fatalities in 2017. This is in addition to the $95 billion that US companies pay annually in workers' compensation insurance. Bringing these national numbers down to the individual incident, the NSC estimates that the average direct and indirect cost of a workplace injury was $39,000 in 2017, and the average work-related fatality costs an average of $1.15 million. These numbers add up to one conclusion, amidst a labor shortage that is constricting the availability of skilled workers: on-the-job injuries place a heavy toll on manufacturers, both financially and operationally.
One well-documented solution to filling the manufacturing labor gap and shift workers away from the dirty, dangerous and dull jobs is the use of automation, including robots and "cobots."
Read the full story in the latest Universal Robots blog post.
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