We all have seen the caution signs in a warehouse or the flashing lights on top of a fork lift, but is that really enough? If that was the case, then the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wouldn’t release statistics as high as 85 forklift fatalities per year and over 34,900 serious forklift injuries per year.
Pedestrians and Powered Industrial Trucks (PITs) that share their work space is an environmental hazard that can be a daily challenge for even the most skilled PIT operators. These operators continuously have to calculate for load capacity, stability, and operating limitations. Any sudden interferences from pedestrians can throw off those calculations and cause operators to lose control of the forklift. It is no wonder that OCHA reports that 42 percent of forklift fatalities are from a worker being crushed by a tipping vehicle.
Training your staff and demanding safe work practices does not make up for providing your workers with the right safety tools. When it comes to forklift safety, there should always be some type of forklift proximity alarm or collision avoidance system to give the forklift driver and the pedestrian enough time to safely avoid any sudden encounters with one another. A Modern Pedestrian Alert System (PAS) by Claitec can simultaneously alert the pedestrian, the PIT driver, and the PIT itself, giving each ample warning time to reduce speed and avert any accidents. The right technology not only equips your worksite with the essential safety tools, it is an investment that will benefit you and your company in four key areas:
Whether you have an indoor warehouse or an outdoor warehouse, the more effectively you manage your environmental risks, the easier it will be for PIT operators to focus all their attention on their task at hand. For example, the PAS solution uses state of the art RFID sensors to identify pedestrians wearing PAS tags that come within a distance of 3 to 20 feet of forklifts with PAS driver tags. Drivers and pedestrians are notified of the nearby pedestrians with clearly visible flashing lights and/or a buzzer. If speed limiting is available in your forklift model, the RFID sensor can trigger the forklift to slow down.
Using technology like the PAS system improves worker productivity by automatically reducing environmental risks and helping workers feel more safe. In addition, relying on technology to manage the daily worksite risks to your employees, can help you improve overall operation productivity and give you more bandwidth to manage other aspects of your business.
2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
A modern pedestrian alert system show that you are doing your part to help reduce the overall number of forklift fatalities and accidents. It signals to the community you operate in that you are dedicated to ensuring the well-being of the people in the community that work for you. This also is an indicator to investors and clients that by trusting you with their business they can ensure that they are helping workers have healthier, happier lives.
Many companies focus on spending their CSR dollars on initiatives in the surrounding communities, but forget to balance that with internal CSR initiatives. How can you build a good relationship with the local communities if you don’t protect workers that come from these communities? Investing in your workers’ safety improves your reputation and can boost company growth.
3. Better Talent
When you invest in workers’ safety, you demonstrate that you are invested in them. That speaks greatly to the quality of the workplace, which tends to lead to higher job satisfaction. Happier employees tend to be more productive, loyal, and have fewer management issues. This also decreases employee turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new employees. A company’s number one asset is their employees. When you hold this belief, and you operate your business with this mentality, you also attract a higher caliber of employee. This is a win for everybody…your employees, teams, and management. This makes you a stronger brand, which leads to higher quality service to your customers. At the end of the day, this even spell higher revenues for your business.
4. Financial Management
Reducing costs from potential employee injuries is not only practical and ethical, it is one of the best ways to protect your business from financial ruin. The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety states that safety programs provide an average return of $4 for every $1 spent. Investing in the right safety tools is responsible financial management at its best.