Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Accident-Prone Areas in the Warehouse? Here's What to Do About Them

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Mar 22, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Many warehouse facilities seem to have their own little Bermuda Triangle — an area where accidents keep happening or inventory seems to disappear. And identifying your accident-prone mystery zone is only half the battle in solving this costly issue.  questions-3236282_640.jpg

You need to know why this area has increased risk so that you can create solutions to avoid repeating past mistakes. And the reasons and solutions may not be obvious at first glance.

Accident-prone areas in your warehouse

The first step in solving any problem is admitting there is one. The warehousing industry is fraught with safety risks. The transportation and warehousing sector encompasses more than 4.8 million workers who are highly prone to injury since warehouses are full of dangerous equipment and other hazards, and transportation accidents are common. But, much of the risk can be mitigated with insight and action.

Look at accident history — and learn from it

Every mistake made in the warehouse can be a learning tool to prevent similar incidents from happening again. And statistically 1 in 10 forklifts will be involved in an accident every year, so there is much to learn from.

The right telematic data should reveal patterns and make solutions obvious. Everything from routing snafus to last month’s forklift impacts can be used to rethink how we manage movement on the warehouse floor.

For example:

  • Optical location provides instant information on speed and location of the forklift prior to the accident.
  • Telematics identifies who is operating the truck, and where the accident happened.
  • Impact location shows if accidents are typically occurring in a similar location, with a specific vehicle model, with a specific task, or at similar times of day.
  • Warehouse data determines what was happening at the time of the incident in relation to where the incident occurred.

Common accidents and safety issues in your facility

Maybe it isn’t just about location. If the same types of accidents seem to occur regularly, evaluate why.

Here are the most common:

  1. Collapsing pallet racks – occurs when product is improperly stored
  2. Slips, trips, and falls – cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second to motor vehicles as the cause of fatalities
  3. Hazardous material incidents – accidental spills and improper storage are common
  4. Forklift impacts – the forklift, workplace environment, and operator actions all contribute to fatal forklift incidents

Here’s what to do about them:

  1. Forklift training and operator certification help ensure forklift operators don’t become complacent and are aware of specific hazards.
  2. Mandatory safety checks for forklifts and on the warehouse floor reduce risk.
  3. Use optical location to restrict large forklifts from entering smaller aisles or areas where hazardous waste may be stored.
  4. Predictive analytics shows trends in forklift incidents, maintenance concerns, and even accident-prone operators.

Historical telematic data ensures a safer future, and it doesn’t require lengthy analysis. Your software should enable you to create solutions and prevent past mistakes from reoccurring.

Topics: routing, forklift impacts, safety improvements, historical data, safety training, operator behavior, root cause, limit risks

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