In a fast-paced warehouse or distribution center, safety can be compromised if warehouse communication falls short. So, ask yourself this. How well does important information and critical warnings make it across your facility to those who need to know?
Today, digital data and insight allows for real-time functionality to be included in everyday operations. Incoming data can be shared, in real-time, with managers and team leaders to facilitate better safety communications, request repairs and to take preventative action.
For example, using the TotalTrax VX platform a Predefined Message can be created that says “Hydraulic Leak”. If a vehicle has a hydraulic leak, the operator can navigate to the message on the VX Unit user interface and send the message to the SX200 software application, quickly notifying manager of the situation.
Predefined messages can also be linked to certain events. Say you link the “Hydraulic Leak” message to a “Maintenance Required” event, email alerts can be used to notify the appropriate resource.
The operator would select the Predefined Message “Hydraulic Leak” via the VX Unit, and the SX200 Application will email a custom Maintenance Required event notice to the person responsible for managing maintenance and repairs.
The risk of injuries, impacts and vehicle downtime increase exponentially when warehouse communication fails to alert employees that an issue has occurred or a there is a repair needed that should be addressed immediately.
Share the “why” behind warnings and rules
People want to know “why” they must do certain tasks or respond quickly. Communication is vital to warehouse safety and psychological studies have shown that employees respond to warnings and safety protocols with greater diligence when they understand the reasons behind them.
Why explain “why”?
- Workers will understand safety concerns, protocol or rules better
- They'll consider it more important to follow rules
- Even if they don't fully understand the reason, they'll be more likely to comply.
What’s hurting your warehouse communication?
There are probably a few common issues that are hurting communication in your facility.
Here’s the most common:
1. Voids in communication and lockout/tagout knowledge
Clear and open communication about potential risks, incidents that have occurred, and checklists in place creates a culture of safety in a warehouse facility. Workers must understand their role in protecting themselves and others and take ownership of safety regulations on the warehouse floor. But, real-time updates, emails and insight provides knowledge and the ability to prevent further mishaps.
Lockout/tagout systems save lives, preventing approximately 250,000 accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 120 fatalities annually. But you need a system in place that adequately communicates to workers when equipment is shut down for repairs.
Telematic lockout/tagout measures can alert employees when certain pieces of equipment are temporarily disabled or out of service. The lift truck won’t operate, and everyone is kept informed as to why.
2. Language barriers
Many businesses have employees where English is their second language, and communications can be misinterpreted.
Operators need reminders, checklists and best practices reinforced in a language they fully understand. While it’s possible to translate all literature for employees facing a language barrier, a large void in safety still exist if telematic checklists aren’t accessible in other languages. Communication in a language that everyone can understand is key.
If your enterprise still relies on paper reports and word-of-mouth communication, your workers face unnecessary risk. The right telematic platform solves this challenge with real-time information shared across your facility, instantly alerting workers when repairs are needed or preventative action is required.