Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Limit Risks for Forklift Drivers and Reduce Waste - today's Lean 5S

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Mar 2, 2017 3:00:00 AM

How can a warehouse manager reduce waste and the risks that forklift drivers face each day? Combine telematics data with lean manufacturing tools — such as 5S — and it is easier to achieve than you may think.  forklift right size.jpg

The fact is, driving a forklift is risky for several reasons. Forklift operators face many hazards related to the workplace, such as uneven floors, overhead piping or fixtures, blind areas, overhead powerlines, and pedestrian walkways.

Other areas of risk pertain to common hazards that happen around the forklift like:

  • Injuries to bystanders
  • Driver musculoskeletal injuries
  • Forklifts recharged or refueled unsafely
  • Forklifts overturning due to improper loading
  • Careless driving or unstable ground

The fact is, forklift impacts and injuries account for more than 92 fatal work injuries in the U.S. each week. To limit risk and even reduce wasted time and effort that can lead to poor driver behavior, use a 5S system that addresses the common causes for impacts.                                                                                       

Create a 5S system with data from advanced telematics

Many manufacturing and warehousing facilities have opted to follow the path toward a 5S workplace organizational methodology as part of continuous improvement or lean-manufacturing processes.

In doing this, the first stage — reducing risk and improving efficiencies — is achieved by removing waste, essentially anything that doesn’t add value.

This is where having the right data from advanced telematics at your fingertips can simplify the process, helping you instantly identify areas where value is lost. For example, TotalTrax SX/VX software offers valuable insight like:

Operator and truck usage

This provides insight on operator and vehicle utilization. The analysis of this data can result in right-sizing the fleet and the better scheduling of operators.

Advanced location

Analysis of this data can help determine better warehouse traffic patterns, assist in the reduction of pedestrian injuries, and facilitating more productive work schedules.

Managers can see in real time where a vehicle is located and its proximity to the product. Oversized vehicles can be prevented from entering a location that may cause damage.  Vehicles can be slowed or stopped from entering pedestrian walkways or sensitive areas.

Battery monitoring

This function analyzes the health of batteries, reporting on state of charge, opportunity charging, fluid levels, and temperature. This data can help in maintaining and increasing the life of your batteries.

Impact data

Get information on the severity of impacts, which combined with advanced location, determines where impacts happen historically. Root cause can be determined to avoid future damage to forklift, product, and operators.ttx1.jpg

Safety checklists

Forklift monitoring with an advanced telematics platform alerts managers to equipment issues, repairs, or required maintenance before it poses any risk. Required safety checklists must be completed before forklifts are operated, and the system locks out use until operators complete the checklists.

Coming to safe conclusions

Using the right telematics software can give you insight that supports a 5S system, quickly analyzing warehouse conditions, driver behavior, and delivering real-time data that supports key safety objectives.

Topics: Forklift safety, telematics, CommandPulseDX, Lean warehousing, Lean 5S

Read More