Trying to control safety in a warehouse environment can seem like mission impossible.
You may think that you have done everything you can to ensure forklift safety — providing forklift training, creating rules for speed and routing, setting expectations for safety checklists, and lockouts. But, perhaps your safety mission is missing something.
It may be time to rethink your strategy and motivate everyone to take greater preventative action. Let’s face it: If accidents are still happening, it is time to dig deeper into identifying and limiting risk factors.
This may sound like you need a crystal ball to predict when an accident will happen. But raising the bar for safety really only requires two things.
1. Finding the root cause of risk
Where and why will an accident happen next? How can it be avoided? Implement a 5S program for a more structured method of organizational safety.
- Start small and engage employees to review work areas and determine what is required to complete work and what can be removed as waste.
- Go beyond sweeping the floor. Clean equipment and forklifts, including electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic connections. This can determine slow leaks or breaks and assist in preventing future slips and falls.
- Predict where risk of impacts is hiding in your facility. Analyze the severity of past accidents and determine exactly where impacts historically happen. Telematics software can do this for you and even pinpoint a root cause.
2. Expanded use of telematics predictive analytic data
Ideally, data should to tell you exactly what is going wrong and why. Some telematic data serves this purpose, identifying potential risks and preventative action required.
For example, about 20,000 workers are injured in forklift accidents each year, and 25 percent of those accidents happen when a forklift overturns. Balance is a huge factor in lift-truck stability, but so is speed. But, what if you could set speed limits that would actually be enforced?
You can. Telematic optical location allows speed limits to be set for each type of forklift in your warehouse. If speed is exceeded, an alarm sounds and an email is sent to the supervisor.
Using the right telematics software also supports a 5S system for safety through:
- Maintenance Report Cards – Data provides a history and associated KPIs for each vehicle and highlights severe impacts and safety checks.
- Safety Report Card – Data provides a history and associated KPIs for each operator and highlights severe impacts, impact warnings, activity, checklist pass, severe speed, and restricted area violations.
- Detailed Utilization Report – Data provides a history of utilization, including key information for operators, login duration, travel time, travel miles, and travel with load.
- Advanced location – Data determines better warehouse traffic patterns, reduces pedestrian injuries, and facilitates more productive work schedules.
Safety requires staying one step ahead of potential risks with insight and a leaner approach to the problem. Combining telematic data with lean tools — such as 5S — can quickly help reduce impacts and boost safety.