There are countless rules and regulations for business owners to follow. When it comes to workplace safety, OSHA helps direct these regulations to ensure employers are providing a safer work environment for their staff. Warehouses are notorious for being dangerous places to work. With boxes stacked to the ceiling, and packages left in the way, it can feel like a jungle trying to get through everything. On top of that, the physically demanding work can be hard on the body.
Teaching staff about workplace safety is a process and one that can be helped with technology. Using advanced technology in different ways can help ensure your staff are safe while they are at work. While training and education go a long way, so does having some of the most advanced tools in the industry. Here are ways that technology is creating safer warehouse environments.
Powered Exoskeleton Suits
These suits are the wave of the future. When you can lift 4x more than your body is capable of, the applications are incredible. Not only that but being able to lift boxes and products to move them to a new location with very little risk of injury on your body is powerful. Powered exoskeleton suits enable workers to get more done in less time with less injury. They can move more nimbly between tasks, instead of bringing in heavy equipment to handle the larger loads.
Instead of hiring people who can only lift 75+ pounds, you can still employ physically fit people who can use the suits to increase their lifting ability by up to 20x. This is an incredible opportunity for businesses who use warehouses and have heavy products to lift regularly.
AI and VR Training
Training is a big challenge. How do you train someone to do a task safely, without them needing to do it in an unsafe way? Leveraging VR and AI technology can help them practice skills without doing the real thing. This means that when they get through with preliminary training, they will have applied their knowledge to situations without putting anyone at risk. This is a great way to ensure workplace safety in a warehouse. Traditional training methods of sitting at a computer working through modules or in a conference room listening to a presenter are not effective.
Getting your hands on the work and practicing the steps needed to do their work safely, is effective. People remember steps to a process better the more often they do it. So instead of telling your staff the 10-step process to putting on safety gear, give them an opportunity to practice the ten steps of what to do.
Not all warehouses are heated or cooled effectively. This means that some workers will be left freezing or overheating if you’re not careful. While there are some regulations on temperature, not all environments can meet those standards. There are other ways to protect your staff if your warehouses are not well-controlled. One of them is to use heating and cooling vests. These smart vests can help staff maintain a level body temperature without risking frostbite from being in the cooler in your warehouse, or heat stroke because they are constantly working in 90-degree temperatures. When it comes to creating a safer warehouse for your staff, focus on temperature control.
Did you know you can outfit your staff with RFID sensors? Many companies already use RFID trackers for their products, but by putting them on staff either in their employee ID badge or a wrist device, you can also keep them safe. These devices can warn them if they get too close to dangerous parts of the warehouse. Sometimes workers aren’t paying attention and don’t realize that there is a forklift or other heavy machine heading their way.
Not everything in your business can or should be automated. Humans have a level of intuition and intelligence unlike anything they can create. So, while robots and other computerized machinery is beneficial, humans are still essential. When it comes to creating a safer warehouse, you can do it by automating essential tasks or dangerous tasks. By prioritizing the safety of your people, you can easily find ways to use technology to help.