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Smart safety means more productive operations

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The pressure is on to maximize output and efficiency. E-commerce and its demanding throughput requirements combined with a shrinking labor force challenge operations to do more with less. Safe practices can get lost in the rush, impacting productivity. Lift trucks and the services that support them are constantly evolving to offer features and integrated solutions that can help transform or streamline existing safety practices to unlock greater efficiency and capacity.

Such advances include comprehensive OEM operator training programs like Yale® Handle with Care, ergonomic features like power steering for precise maneuverability and operator presence systems that lock out traction and hydraulic controls when drivers leave their seats. Simple, fundamental equipment design still plays a critical role, with systems like the Yale® Continuous Stability System (CSS™) working to reduce truck lean and improve stability – without the added complexity and constant maintenance of electronic alternatives.

Telemetry systems like the Yale Vision wireless asset management system can produce a wealth of relevant small data insights for quick conversion into actionable business intelligence. Alerts notify management of fault codes, scheduled maintenance or potentially hazardous driving behaviors along with optional GPS enhancements to provide location information for truck paths and impact sites.

In addition to informing safety-minded management decisions, telemetry is also a tool for individual operators, guiding them through automated safety checks and restricting equipment access to authorized operators. The system promotes accountability by assigning impact alerts and productivity data to specific operators. Clear metrics remove any hint of bias from performance evaluations for ineffective, unsafe drivers while incentivizing high-performing employees.

A knowledgeable partner can help operations put all that data to good use, fueling informed decisions that drive – and often help improve – both productivity goals and safety requirements. Using GPS data, operations can understand high-risk areas for collisions and take action to identify more efficient routes. Updating facility layout and traffic management based on these insights reduces the risk of impacts and cuts travel time and downtime.

Investing the time and money to train operators on safe practices and fostering a culture that promotes safe, productive procedures pays off in the long run. As materials handling continues to evolve and operations look to push the envelope for productivity and efficiency, safety remains not only a critical factor but an important enabler of operational success. As safety gets smarter, warehouses get more productive.

Contributed by Yale, www.yale.com