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Forklift Safety Series: Using Data and Technology to Strengthen Your Safety Culture

Crown Equipment is committed to helping customers maintain a safe operation with equipment designed around the operator, in accordance with industry standards. A successful safety program considers key elements that can positively contribute to employee safety.

In this forklift safety blog series, with topics inspired by our new e-book “An Integrated Approach to Forklift Safety,” we explore the components of an integrated safety approach and how to ensure a strong safety culture.


 

Connecting forklifts to enable collection and analysis of data across the fleet is another important component of a comprehensive approach to safety management.

Forklift connectivity solutions, such as Crown Equipment’s InfoLink® operator and fleet management system, leverage on-board visual displays and data from a lift truck’s control system and sensors. The management system consolidates data from all connected vehicles and presents it in a way that is both accessible and actionable. Reports on equipment utilization, operator performance, impact events and other operating parameters can be used as part of an integrated approach to safety.

Here are four ways that connectivity solutions can contribute to the enhancement of a comprehensive safety culture:

  • Ensuring Compliance

With a forklift operator and fleet management system, an operator is guided through a forklift inspection process by the on-board display to determine whether the forklift is safe to operate. Operation of the vehicle is not permitted if not enough time is taken for the inspection or the operator has indicated the forklift is not safe. Because this process is performed and documented electronically, the need to distribute and file paper forms is eliminated.

The system also controls access to forklifts so they can only be used by authorized operators. The system tracks operator certification and training to simplify the management of these programs.

  • Reducing Impacts

Connectivity can also aid in reducing the number of forklift impact events. Using data from impact sensors on the forklift, the management system generates an alert when an impact occurs, identifying the forklift and operator, enabling a rapid investigation to determine event causation and severity.

With impact monitoring in place, operators typically become more aware of behavior and actions that may result in an impact. Typically, this leads to a decrease in impacts with a reduction in truck and rack damage.

  • Enriching Operator Performance

Achieving safer forklift operation generally comes down to safer forklift operators. The forklift fleet and operator management system provides an ideal, operator-centric platform for improving skill and focus by collecting data that can provide a more complete view of operators’ compliance with safety regulations and overall performance objectives. This can provide opportunities to hold operators accountable for incorrect practices, identify operators who require additional safety training and recognize those who are following safe operating practices.

  • Enhancing Service

Through connectivity, vital forklift information can be gathered, shared and analyzed to enhance service management and enable the transition from reactive to proactive maintenance.

Crown’s FleetSTATS® system provides a simple and efficient way to capture and analyze total maintenance costs across multiple locations, allowing for proactive equipment retirement and replacement, all of which can help lead to a healthier and safer fleet.

There’s little doubt that the warehouse of the future is a connected warehouse. Connectivity solutions can deliver safety benefits through enhanced compliance, reduced impacts and improved operator performance, all factors in a comprehensive approach to safety.

By increasing communication and engagement with employees, you can facilitate a smooth implementation and set the stage for long-term results. Crown has identified specific keys to implementing new technologies like connected solutions, and you can learn more about them and the impact of connectivity on safety management in our newest e-book, “An Integrated Approach to Forklift Safety.”

Be sure to revisit our blog for new content as we continue to explore other important safety topics, like the critical role that training plays in safety management.

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