As the tech industry continues to grow, all industries continue to develop their tech, and warehouse safety is no different. Back when forklifts were being developed in the early 20th century, the concept of forklift or warehouse safety referred to: "watch where you're going when you operate the forklift." After countless injuries, forklift training became the standard for operators. Training typically involved a new hire shadowing an operator, followed by the operator shadowing the new hire as he or she attempted to lift and move something. Things have changed quite a bit since then. Many modern warehouses now employ the use of virtual reality machines to accomplish the same goal, and warehouse safety means: "make sure your RFID sensors are turned on before you enter the warehouse."
RFID sensors are utilized in products like the Pedestrian Alert System (PAS), which was developed by Claitec as a means of protecting everyone in a warehouse. The sensors send information to each other, notifying the forklift operator that there is another person in the vicinity. Once the forklift detects a person in the area, it emits clearly visible flashing lights before the forklift gets too close to the pedestrian. The technology has gotten to a point where you can even set the distance between the forklift and the pedestrian at which the sensor triggers the alert. This piece of technology is just one of many that Claitec has produced in order to prevent unnecessary injuries. Some products, like Low Speed Area, will literally tie into the forklift's control system; and, in this case, it will reduce the speed of the vehicle when it enters a pre-determined high risk area.
As software capabilities continue to grow, additional applications are coming into view. Virtual Reality has become a major player in warehouse training over the past few years. Instead of trusting a new hire to learn to operate a forklift by risking a crash in the warehouse, the new hire will now sit down in a simulator and crash into a virtual warehouse. This reduces the time spent training the new employee and it eliminates the damage that could be caused by an accident. If the user breaks a box that he or she is trying to move, they simply press a button for a "reset," and then they try again. If they tip the forklift over, no one gets hurt; and, again, they simply press "reset." As the technology continues to grow, who knows how many of these accidents will become preventable. Since the creation of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the death toll from forklifts has gone from 38/day down to 12/day. Still, the goals is zero deaths per day and technology is going to be a driving force in meeting that goal.
In addition to the Pedestrian Alert System and Low Speed Area, Claitec has developed several other products that push society forward on the safety front. Hazardous area keeps people safe in dangerous environments by shutting down the potentially dangerous machines before an accident occurs. Traffic Control System creates a physical separation to prevent potential collisions. Add Fall Protection System and Blind Spot to the list and you see how much progress has been made in the field of warehouse safety. Who knows what the future beholds in regards to safety products. Maybe one day forklifts will drive themselves? While we can't count on that, we can count on utilizing safety products to prevent accidents today.
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