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Retain staff and improve safety

29 August 2023

Robert O’Donoghue explains how operations can stay competitive, and encourage staff retention by adopting the latest technologies.

WITH TODAY’S severe labour shortage and high turnover, retaining and attracting staff is important to support busy warehousing operations. Providing workers with ergonomic, comfortable, and safe warehouse equipment can help support staff retention. The right equipment and technology can help to improve working conditions, facilitate day-to-day tasks, and protect operators from potential hazards.

Robotic trucks 

Warehouses are increasingly using robotic lift trucks to improve productivity. However, implementing robotic equipment is not about taking high-value jobs away from operators. Instead, using automated solutions can help managers address the labour shortage and free up employees to advance to more engaging, meaningful positions.

Robotic lift trucks are especially well-suited to repetitive tasks, such as moving pallets, loading and unloading, and long runs - a valuable characteristic warehouses can use in strategies to help curb operator turnover.   

Robotics can liberate employees to conduct tasks that humans do best. Having robots working alongside humans leverages the strengths of both to make repetitive tasks and more complex, value-added functions more efficient. 

Reverse Speed System

For indoor warehouse operations where high numbers of temporary or agency staff are employed, such as in retail and e-commerce warehouses, or 3PL operations, it is important to keep lift trucks and the operation moving, while also supporting safety.

The Reverse Speed System for Yale electric lift trucks is an example where technology can be applied to help enhance efficiency and productivity.

Suitable for use in warehouses across many industries, the patent-pending Reverse Speed System is an operator assistance option, which limits the truck’s reverse speed if an operator’s hand is not detected on the rear drive handle. It is designed to encouraged operators to look in the direction of travel while reversing, which is standard practice, and important for keeping clear of pedestrians and objects in the path of travel. The truck’s forward speed is limited when the handle is in use.

Dynamic Pedestrian Awareness Lights

Fast-paced intralogistics operations may have a high number of pedestrians, as well as warehouses with blind corners, cross aisles, or unloading operations with sub-optimal visibility conditions. Any incidents can impact on operational efficiency, causing disruption, and damage to stock and infrastructure, as well as the associated costs.

Certain operations may benefit from the Dynamic Pedestrian Awareness Lights option from Yale, which may help to minimise the risks. Available for most Yale electric forklifts, these compact LED lights display a dynamic, repeating, “progressively flashing” blue arrow pattern on the floor providing visible indication to nearby pedestrians or truck operators that a lift truck is approaching. It also indicates what direction the truck is approaching from.

These are just a few examples of technology solutions for the differing needs of warehouse customers. Yale Lift Truck Technologies is focused on producing technology-enabled lift trucks for warehouse and intralogistics operations that support productivity, efficiency, and reduced costs. 

Robert O’Donoghue, vice president marketing and solutions EMEA, Yale Lift Truck Technologies

For more information, visit www.yale.com