Give Your Productivity a Safety Net
More than ever before, operations face immense pressure to perform. Whether it's maximizing output, efficiency, or other critical performance metrics, e-commerce demands and a shrinking labor force challenge operations to do more with less. But what about safety?
Safe practices risk getting lost in the rush, threatening not only equipment availability and worker injury, but also increased costs, potential fines, and lost productivity. To address this operational reality, lift trucks and the services that support them are constantly evolving with features and integrated solutions to help transform or streamline existing safety practices while unlocking greater efficiency and capacity.
It starts with fundamentals. Take comprehensive OEM operator training for instance. Putting lift truck operators through Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-approved training programs like Yale® Handle with Care can help address the cause of 70 percent of forklift accidents: operator error.
Both simple and advanced equipment design help to make safety a habit. Operator presence-detection systems can lock out traction and hydraulic controls when drivers leave their seats. And noncomplex solutions like the Yale® Continuous Stability System (CSS™) can reduce truck lean and improve stability—without the added risk and constant maintenance of complicated, error-prone alternatives.
Technology also fuels smarter, safety-minded management. Telemetry systems like the Yale Vision wireless asset management system can produce a wealth of relevant data insights and actionable intelligence to inform decisions that improve both productivity and safety.
Alerts notify management of fault codes, scheduled maintenance, or potentially hazardous driving behaviors. Using geographic positioning system (GPS) data, operations can understand high-risk areas for collisions and take action to identify more efficient routes. Updated facility layout and traffic management accordingly can reduce the risk of impacts, cut travel time, and minimize downtime.
Telemetry is also a tool for individual operators, guiding them through automated safety checks and restricting equipment access to authorized individuals. The system promotes accountability by assigning impact alerts and productivity data to specific operators, and clear metrics remove any hint of bias from performance evaluations to address ineffective, unsafe practices while incentivizing high levels of performance.
Investing the time and money to train operators on safe practices, taking advantage of data-driven management tools, 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 also an important enabler of operational success. As safety gets smarter, warehouses get more productive.
Contributed by Yale Materials Handling Corporation, www.yale.com