A new article has been published by NORSUS, based on work conducted within RoBUTCHER. The automation of pork processing through robotics raises important societal concerns regarding working conditions of slaughterhouse workers and impacts on local communities. The article therefore evaluates the social performance and impacts of implementing an Autonomous Robotic System (ARS) for meat processing, comparing pre- and post-implementation scenarios.
The results suggest a considerable improvement in social performance and impacts when moving from the conventional meat processing scenario to the ARS. All subcategories from both stakeholder categories scored higher in the post-ARS scenario. The most improved social subcategories were Health and safety and Access to immaterial resources. A considerable improvement was identified in social subcategories Working hours, Freedom of association and collective bargaining, and Fair salary. A modest improvement was identified in social subcategories Equal opportunities and discrimination, Employment relationship, and Migration and delocalisation. The ARS is anticipated to mitigate injury risks that workers are exposed to in a conventional meat factory and to reduce sick leave but will also necessitate training and close collaboration between unions and management teams.
See the full article here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-023-02256-9.