An update on forklift-monitoring technology provides safety and savings.
There are more than 2 million forklifts operating in the U. S., and companies have a similar agenda for each one—maximizing productivity in the warehouse and at the loading docks. Unfortunately, a handful of forklift operators might have an entirely different agenda. These operators’ idea of maximizing productivity might include operating their lifts in an unsafe manner.
Improper supervision of lift truck operators can lead to malfeasance and could result in a severe accident; approximately 2 people are killed each week in forklift-related incidents. As a compan, all of that responsibility falls upon management’s shoulders. Therefore, keeping forklift customers informed about aftermarket monitoring technology can help them relieve some of that stress.
By neglecting damage-prevention practices, firms are vulnerable to OSHA penalties, Workers’ Compensation payouts, lawsuits and many other damage-related costs that can result from a warehouse accident. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor and other reliable industry sources concluded that approximately 77 forklift accidents happen every hour in the U.S.—nearly half of which result in serious injuries to operators and co-workers .
Companies have the ability to dramatically reduce damage-related costs by adding forklift-monitoring technologies into their daily operations. With monitors on the devices, a company can manage its fleet without needing a manager on site at all times. These devices enable management to capture forklift impact data, restrict equipment access and remain OSHA compliant all of which contribute to the employees’ safety and well-being.
Benefits of Monitoring
With forklift monitoring technology, the customer has the ability to increase operator accountability.
- Restrict access. Whether requiring a PIN, access card or barcode scanner, the system helps recognize individual operators who are properly trained and prohibit use by those who aren’t.
- Around-the-clock presence. Systems can monitor variables, such as impacts, that help keep managers aware of equipment and operator status.
- Real-time alerts. Managers can receive e-mail or text message alerts when variables exceed user-defined levels.
- Rapid equipment location. Managers can be kept abreast of a forklift’s location, reducing response time in the event of an incident.
Knowledge Is Power
Informing customers about damage prevention practices not only alerts them to machine access and monitoring operator driving habits; it also encompasses preventive and scheduled maintenance. A recent industry study concluded that approximately 89 percent of businesses that use forklifts fail to monitor the forklifts’ scheduled maintenance or keep track of previous maintenance.
Statistically, forklifts are being used anywhere from 22,500 hours to 26,000 hours, far exceeding their recommended use of approximately 12,000 hours . It is common for facilities or warehouses to overuse and under maintain their forklifts, then point the finger back at the equipment distributor when problems arise.
Forklifts, like automobiles, require preventive and scheduled maintenance checks to keep warehouse machines running efficiently and operators using them correctly. With forklift-monitoring technology, companies can avoid equipment downtime by having the monitor relay in formation regarding maintenance needs to management. In addition, forklift distributors can be made aware of the forklift’s usage and recommend forklift upgrades when necessary.
Material handling isn’t just about getting the product to its destination; it’s about getting the product to its destination in a safe and productive manner. Forklift monitors help ensure that your customer’s warehouse fleet is constantly operated efficiently by approved operators that meet OSHA standards. While safety and productivity remain warehouse management’s top priorities, let monitoring devices alleviate some of the stress by recommending proper forklift-monitoring technology that helps keep warehouse employees efficient and out of harm’s way.
|Meet the Author
R.C. Greenberg has been the equipment monitors product manager for Dallas, Texas-based ShockWatch since October 2006.