Posted by Thelma Marshall, VP of Solutions, June 23, 2020

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We all know that proper training and safety reminders are key to a safe work environment. But sometimes training is not the right tool to fix your facilities safety problems.  It’s important to accurately identify and frame what the gaps in safety are and then create solutions.

Solutions can mean changing the work process, changing routing within a facility, or rethinking how tasks get completed. Problems are not always solved with a refresher safety class.

It may be time to take a closer look at what is preventing your warehouse or manufacturing facility from safety excellence. Consider some of theses most common causes of safety deficits.

About 70% of warehouse accidents and injuries are avoidable with the right precautions and monitoring software. The key is looking for any dangerous gaps in safety and addressing them.

 Workspace conditions

Sometimes, workstation configurations do not support a safe and effective workflow environment. Look closer at workspaces where safety seems to be an issue. Historical telematic data can determine areas that accidents or near-miss situations most often occur.

Using this insight can show you what the true threat to safety is and what you need to do to create a solution. For example, perhaps a workspace isn’t designed to facilitate the tasks required and allow for good ergonomics. Perhaps aisles are not wide enough or traffic is too congested in certain areas. This can be all be addressed.

Physical barriers to safety can usually can’t be overcome with more training. It requires changing the work environment or managing tasks differently. Awkward or dangerous working conditions can, and will, cause performance problems and must be addressed by improving those questionable conditions. Sending workers back for training will not correct conditional barriers.

Here are a few things to look out for:

Risky behavior

Predictive analytics based on telematic monitoring identifies poor operator behavior before an accident occurs. Holding employees accountable is crucial in changing poor behavioral patterns, common mistakes and risk taking.

Dangerous routing

Poorly routed traffic often leads to accidents and costly injuries. Telematic Advanced Location features determine where, when, and why events are happening, so traffic can be rerouted and inventory repositioned.

The right telematic data should reveal patterns and make solutions obvious. Everything from routing snafus to last month’s forklift impacts can be used to rethink how we manage movement on the warehouse floor. 

For example: 

  • Optical location provides instant information on speed and location of the forklift prior to the accident. 
  • Telematics identifies who is operating the truck, and where the accident happened. 
  • Impact location shows if accidents are typically occurring in a similar location, with a specific vehicle model, with a specific task, or at similar times of day.  
  • Warehouse data determines what was happening at the time of the incident in relation to where the incident occurred. 

Creating a safe warehouse does not happen by accident. Proactive measures — supported by an advanced telematics platform — helps avoid common accidents and costly mishaps. 

Warehousing and manufacturing industries are fraught with safety risks. Employees need to be trained in hazard recognition and precautions to address those hazards. But part of improving safety is to go beyond training to deal with risk and take steps to mitigate risk with telematic insight and action. 

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