It’s safe to say that 2020 has been one of the most hectic years on record for the packaging industry. Cleveland news report that the US postal service has seen higher traffic than Christmas, and every one of those parcels comes with a package of some description. As a result, packaging warehouses are busier than they ever have been – and this brings with it inherent safety risks that need to be mitigated.
The rising problem
There already exists a broad upwards trend in warehousing injuries, largely fueled by the consumer appetite for online delivery. The Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that forklift accidents have been rising over the past five years, with 2017 the deadliest on record. For business owners, this means 7,000 business days lost. For workers, this can mean life-changing injury. In both cases, litigation is often necessary and can help to uncover justice; having proper warehouse management and records will assist in this, with smart technology there to help.
Companies like Amazon have such huge success with their packaging operations due to their renowned algorithm, which helps to calculate the most cost-effective and efficient way of packing items. Similar algorithms help with the picking process in their warehouses, but they also help to collect data. In any warehousing operation, it is advantageous to have clear CCTV footage of the floor, and also to collect data on employee movements around the warehouse to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.
That same smart technology can and should be used in the long term to improve safety. This is especially important as new materials and forms of packaging come into the workplace. Packaging industries can use machine learning and AI in their systems to try to look for problems before they arise – preemptive safety. This is the same technology being mooted for use in motoring and is considered the best way of avoiding risks in the workplace that can lead to health and safety problems.
Ultimately, as the packaging industry is called upon to a greater level with every year, it will be a busier time in packaging warehouses. This means enhanced risk. To manage this over time, warehouse operators will need to use their high level of tech for the same sort of application as they do for the management and shipping of their packaging and parcels.