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Warehouse worker safety and the safety of products and equipment are of paramount importance to the management of a business. These days, indoor tracking systems have proven to be the most effective in this area. In this article, we will explore how they work and how their implementation helps create a safer working environment.
Why is it important to ensure warehouse safety?
Warehouses are prone to accidents, which can result in injuries ranging from minor to severe and even fatal. Statistics show that about 20% of injuries are associated with lifting and carrying heavy objects, while another 20% are injuries that occur while working with carts, packaging equipment, or forklifts. About 10% of all warehouse injuries are fatal, and forklift accidents are considered the most dangerous.
OSHA estimates that between 35,000 and 62,000 forklift-related accidents occur in warehouses each year. Up to 25% of these accidents are caused by equipment rollovers, and approximately 36% of forklift fatalities involve collisions with staff.
Forklifts pose a danger to warehouse workers due to their heavy weight and relatively high speed. Unlike regular cars, they only have front brakes, making them difficult to stop. Additionally, forklifts often carry large loads, which can reduce visibility and make it difficult for drivers to see staff members in time.
To avoid unforeseen situations and ensure forklift safety in the warehouse, businesses should carefully consider protecting people from emergencies. A digital tracking system can help with this by eliminating collisions and establishing proper equipment operation. The monitoring platform provides operational transparency of work, which drastically reduces the risk of accidents.
What is an indoor tracking system?
An indoor tracking system is a set of algorithms that allows you to track the movement of assets in real time. The platform is easily integrated into mobile applications, can be quickly customized to meet user needs, and can scale as the business develops.
The system is based on miniature sensors (known as beacons or tags), which are placed throughout the building and on monitored objects. Various stationary media can be used, such as tags, bracelets, badges, and other types of equipment. These sensors constantly send out signals that are transmitted to the server, processed, and sent as ready-made information to users' computers or smartphones.
Various technologies can be used to operate the system, with the most effective ones being:
- Ultra-wideband (UWB) is a technology that determines location with an accuracy of up to 12 inches. It can simultaneously support hundreds of channels and allows multiple systems to be deployed in the same environment. However, it has high implementation costs, so it's usually used for monitoring high-value assets.
- Bluetooth® Low Energy is a more affordable and energy-efficient option. When implementing it, beacons are used that work in tandem with reading devices. The location accuracy when using this technology is up to 3 feet.
Capabilities of tracking systems to ensure warehouse safety
Introducing a digital tracking system for safety in the warehouse opens up wide opportunities for managers to optimize and increase the efficiency of business processes. The platform improves asset visibility, controls the safety of warehouse forklifts and access to hazardous areas, helps manage evacuations, and provides detailed incident analytics.
Improving the visibility of objects in real-time
Using a tracking system, company management can receive real-time data on the movement of people and assets throughout the warehouse. The platform significantly improves visibility and allows you to instantly determine the location of an employee or object at any given time.
Introducing this technology into the warehouse infrastructure enables the creation of indoor maps, which can be used to easily track not only the location but also the movement of equipment. This simplifies company management, increases security, and helps improve business processes.
Warehouse managers are given a complete overview of their forklift fleet with an intuitive control panel that allows them to quickly find out the location of equipment and track movements. This visibility is most valuable in large, busy warehouses with constant movement of forklifts.
With real-time visibility, managers can make proactive decisions and avoid collisions. It’s much easier for them to identify crowded areas or potential accident sites and reassign forklifts to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Additionally, when there is a risk of collision, the platform sends warnings to both the forklift driver and the employee on foot.
Access control to hazardous areas
When using the system, the entire warehouse area can be divided into zones and access opportunities can be determined for each staff member. Then, sensors will track staff movements and provide the following data:
- which employees entered each area;
- whether the employee has access to this part of the warehouse;
- how long a person spends in a given area.
Additionally, the program can send alerts to managers when a person or equipment crosses the boundaries of a certain zone. Similarly, an audio or text notification is sent to the management if the object leaves the area.
With a location tracking system for warehouse forklift safety, you can respond to incidents more efficiently. The platform transmits information in real time and helps you quickly find people on the map when reporting an accident or emergency. This allows assistance to be sent quicker to the victim's location.
Similarly, the victim themselves can report their location. Using sensors, they can send messages that will help rescuers or emergency services quickly arrive at the scene. With a tracking system in place, the management can identify the employees closest to the accident and send them to the scene.
Effective evacuation management
Indoor tracking technology can be successfully used as a component of automated evacuation solutions. The system monitors staff movement and identifies employees who are in a dangerous area during an accident or emergency. Next, the platform ensures their safe evacuation by suggesting the shortest route through a mobile app or voice prompts.
Navigine offers customers a modern digital tracking platform, Navigine Tracking, which can help improve warehouse worker safety. We provide comprehensive technical support and effective asset tracking solutions tailored to your business.
To learn more about the system, please fill out the feedback form on our website or book a free online meeting.