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Leading material handling provider publishes new findings on safety in the high-tech warehouse

4 Jul 2023

Logistics companies that invest in safer warehouses for their employees are winning the war for talent, according to a report produced by Linde Material Handling UK.

The more enlightened businesses are also committing to a ‘no blame’ safety culture, which is having a positive impact on staff morale and corporate reputation.

Innovative technological solutions play an equally important role in helping to create a safer working environment in which hazards can be identified and dealt with before they cause injuries or even fatalities.

The report – A Smarter Approach to Safety in the High-Tech Warehouse – is based on contributions from industry leaders and experts. It reveals:

  • Where requests for safety solutions were usually in response to an incident that had already occurred, there is now a more proactive approach among companies.
  • Forklift solutions range from the simple seatbelt interlock and safety lighting to advanced driver assistance solutions using ultra-wideband technology to operate beyond direct line of sight.
  • Integrating automated vehicles into existing facilities requires a risk assessment to identify the safety devices that can co-exist alongside people and other processes.
  • How vehicles, pedestrians and loading bays interact with forklift trucks are areas which have undergone significant changes, mostly through task-based risk assessments and improvements by front-line teams.
  • The opportunity for developing a more open safety culture lies in coaching the leaders rather than forklift drivers and other operatives.
  • The need for senior leadership to commit the time, the effort and the energy to coach frontline managers to make a difference and to listen to the workforce more.
  • The requirement for a whole-industry commitment, from the largest companies to SMEs, to recognise that safety is as important as operations.
  • Safeguarding against complacency around automation, which can put safety at risk, will require a real change in attitude in terms of logistics training – there needs to be a recognition that machines and autonomous systems can sometimes go wrong.

Gavin Carslake, Linde MH UK’s Safety Sales Manager, said: “Safety products are not the only answer. Starting with a positive safety culture and building on that with preventative measures really demonstrates that safety is being taken seriously.

“Historically, customer requests for safety solutions were unfortunately in response to an incident that had already occurred. More reassuringly, it’s good to see customers taking a more proactive approach.”

A copy of the report is available here.