Daily warehouse operations are likely to cause injuries to workers due to numerous hazardous areas in the facility. While everyone makes sure to take the necessary safety precautions, certain technological innovations can help improve warehouse safety and simplify various tasks:
Enhanced Forklift Safety
Guided forklifts feature proximity sensors, cameras, and lasers to avoid collisions and ensure safety in the workplace. Their live video stream helps with vision navigation, perfect for warehouses with poor visibility, high pallets, and narrow aisles. Unlike humans, these automated forklifts are immune to severe temperatures and endure long repetitive tasks.
While they can operate in dangerous work environments and automatically pick up containers and pallets, it’s recommended to invest in durable fork protectors to avoid any material damage that may further cause accidents. These brightly-colored protectors can also warn workers to keep a safe distance.
Drones Reduce Accidents and Improve Operations
In the logistics and warehousing industry, drones help capture pallet bar codes without needing employees to go up a ladder to complete the job, lowering the risk of fall-related accidents. Since they can fly and hover, they can gather image data faster to improve accuracy and productivity, reducing human input in the process. Here are other common applications of drones in warehouse operations:
- Cycle Counting: Repetitive, automated drone inventory counts can minimize revenue loss. You’ll be able to have accurate stock records and determine the stock position of your organization at a specific time.
- Security and Surveillance: Drones for perimeter security are reliable and affordable for human and capital asset protection. They can inspect yards, track approaching vehicles’ locations, and scan buildings, avoiding theft incidents and other security issues.
- Roof Inspection: Warehouse structures are prone to leaks and cracks because of changing environmental conditions. Regular drone inspections can detect any damage ahead of time and access hard-to-reach areas. Camera drones also capture high-definition roof images that you can revisit and review anytime.
- Item Search: Drone-based search can easily locate stolen or missing items using standardized markers. Drones are quick to deploy, capture photos of thieves, and require minimal manpower, especially on large supply lots that need utmost protection. In some cases, drone pilots are not needed – you can simply program a prearranged flight path, then remotely monitor the video feed.
- Worker Productivity: Drone-based counting and monitoring can help shift employee time to higher and more important inventory management activities. Since drones are used to automate the most mundane and monotonous tasks, your organization can advance human operations, enable it to grow, and create more jobs in the process.
Improved Training with VR and AR
Augmented and virtual reality can help provide more immersive training to your current employees and new hires by creating a virtual environment and overlaying it in the real world. They can help provide safer and more efficient training without putting the workers at risk while they learn.
A 360-degree VR creates an environment where you can expose the new hires to processes and equipment before they step inside the room. For instance, you can walk them through every step of the fulfillment process, so they’ll be able to see the tasks while experiencing what it’s like to be in a bustling warehouse. This can help them be focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed in the actual environment.
Additional interactions such as gaze control and knowledge checks can help them learn the physical motions they need to work on their respective jobs. They will also know how to respond to certain situations without being physically present in a dangerous environment.
Upon completion, you can evaluate their performance based on engagement, completion rates, and more. Implementing this technology helps improve their knowledge and skills in a risk-free environment.
Mobile robots can improve worker safety by performing dangerous tasks that can cause ergonomic injuries to humans. Even if some operations can be done smoothly without injuries, repetitive tasks are limited by human constraints, so these robots improve efficiency and prevent workers from suffering repetitive motion injuries.
They also lower the risk of falls by maximizing warehouses’ vertical and horizontal storage spaces. Robotics can help reach items that are too high, limiting the amount of time workers spend at hazardous heights.
Warehouse safety is one of the most important factors in the storage industry. Adopting technological advancements protects workers and improves the efficiency of various tasks. Keep up with the current technological innovations to maintain the safety of your warehouse for years to come.