Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Using Historical Warehouse Data Correctly Can Reduce Costs

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Feb 12, 2019 1:32:00 PM

It is important to learn from past mistakes, but did you know it is a critical aspect of managing a warehouse or distribution center? Past situations can help you avoid costly risk. wrong-way-167535_640

For example, when a mishap has occurred in your facility, you look at the basic facts — the what, where and why type of data. But that basic information won’t always give you the big picture, including any underlying reasons that the incident occurred or how to prevent it from happening again. What should you be doing?

  1. Examine your platform’s historical data and note any similarities you see in accidents, injuries, or near-miss situations. When you do this, patterns will emerge.
  2. Once patterns or similarities are identified, determine the underlying reason. There is often a correlation between previous accidents and what is happening now.
  3. Once you know the underlying problem, the solution should become obvious — take action and make changes to prevent history from repeating itself.

Where risk hides, what it can cost

There are often hidden reasons for warehouse mishaps. It could be that forklift routing needs to be revised or that some drivers become more reckless at the end of a shift. It may be as simple as new drivers are not performing at expected skill levels and more training is needed.

But risk isn’t the only thing that hides below surface analysis. There are hidden costs associated with accidents and injuries. The average work-related injury leads to $38,000 in direct expenses but about $150,000 in indirect costs, like lost productivity, replacement staff and legal fees. So, a single injury could cost your business $188,000. 

Prevention is the solution that saves lives, reduces injuries, and avoids associated costs — including OSHA fines that cut away at your bottom line.  OSHA inspectors conduct about more than 83,000 workplace inspections each year, issuing over 2,000 citations for violations, and those fines typically range from $500 - $7,000.

Leveraging historical data will help facilitate preventative action before accidents and associated costs reoccur, and telematics software can make this analysis fast and simple.

Software solutions

A wise manager knows that 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 bgraph1e involved in an accident every year.  

Look for a platform that provides optical location to record speed, location of forklifts just prior to an accident, accident location, and the driver involved. It should also record violations like entering pedestrian zones without slowing or stopping and entering unauthorized locations.

The warehousing industry’s fatal-injury rate is higher than the national average for all other industries combined. But, identifying the underlying causes of accidents and injuries based on historical data is the first step in taking preventive action to reduce accidents, injuries and the associated costs.

Topics: forklift violations, impacts, fleet monitoring, warehousing industry incidents & violations, safety improvements, historical data, limit risks, telematic data, accident reporting