Last-mile delivery is hard work, and the job gets even tougher when temperatures drop below freezing. Icy sidewalks and slippery steps pose risks for parcel couriers, and snow banks can cause delivery delays or even injuries.
To train employees how to walk safely on snow and ice, German logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group turned to one of the world's foremost experts: a penguin. During two training sessions in November, the international parcel carrier brought in an African penguin from a nearby aquarium to provide what amounted to a lesson in waddling.
As part of the company's "Safety First - Safety Feet" program, the flightless bird demonstrated safe winter walking techniques for couriers who will walk packages up to doorways this holiday season and for workers at the carrier's package sorting hub. The penguin visited DHL's service center in Erlanger, Ky., on Nov. 8 and delivered an encore performance at the company's facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) on Nov. 14.
Missed the event? Here's what you need to know about how to maintain a solid footing on icy surfaces. One trick is to emulate the low center of gravity that penguins have. Another is to use your arms the way a penguin uses its flippers for balance; that is, by performing a kind of flapping motion when the going gets tough.