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Recently, there were numerous conversations among warehouse and distribution center operators, heavy equipment manufacturers and labor experts about what more can be done to improve forklift safety as rising fulfillment demands spur an increase in both foot and vehicle traffic. Some recommended improving equipment maintenance practices or implementing a floor marking system while others suggested that it would be more effective to focus on stricter certification requirements or more extensive workforce training. Though all great suggestions, I believe that forklift safety is also contingent upon workers’ ability to… – Sense who and what is around them at all times (even if out of sight). – Analyze potential collision hazards and whether or not there are alternative routes or measures that can be taken to mitigate collisions. – Act immediately to avert collisions based on the intelligence delivered via alert and/or navigation systems. Fortunately, the technology tools needed to collect, analyze and distribute the data needed for forklift operators and others on the warehouse floor or shipyard to maintain such situational awareness are already quite prolific in warehousing distribution environments. With some slight feature customizations and the right software applications, mobile computing platforms and track and trace technologies, fleet monitoring, workforce routing and driver behaviors can be improved. These solutions could also help automate key safety measures such as safety checklist completion and proximity alerting. How Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) Can Be Used to Deliver Real-Time Guidance to Forklift Operators There are a number of RFID, Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), Ultra-Wideband (UWB), Wi-Fi and sensor technologies used in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution environments today to track and trace the location of materials and equipment and locate the presence of people in real time. Why not just tap into these same technologies to track the movements of people who are operating […]
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