Before you dive into integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and warehouse safety in your operation, there are some important things to consider. Automation can certainly be helpful. After all, it’s the future of warehousing and manufacturing, and it’s already happening in many places. That being said, you should ensure that you understand automation and warehouse safety before you make any huge adjustments. It’s also important that your facility and your employees are ready during this evolving time.
How can automation help?
Automation is an amazing thing. It can replicate processes that are simple or even complex that we as humans may just not have the manpower to dedicate to. It can fill gaps in productivity and even cut down on accidents when applied correctly. It can also increase the agility of our facilities and perhaps take you into a whole new level of production.
Cut down on accidents
Not only can automated technology stand as good of a chance as human workers to follow safe practices, it may also be able to better detect unsafe ones. For example, forklift-related accidents cost an estimated $30 billion each year. Forklifts with AI can help prevent causes such as unsafe speeds or blindspots.
You can’t always accomplish things more quickly while also doing them more safely. In fact, it’s almost always one or the other. However, better integrating AI and warehouse safety may allow for increased agility in your facility, especially throughout difficult times, like during a pandemic. For example, automation can help with visual quality control processes, even make up for limited capacity entirely.
Key Safety Tips for Automation
Though implementing automation and increasing the safety of your facility should ideally coincide, there are some tips to think about beforehand. Not all of your employees may be fully versed in automated technology yet, for example, or perhaps new updates may make current knowledge obsolete.
Additional training is often necessary
First off, and this may be obvious, additional training is often necessary when working with automated technology, especially if this is a new adjustment for your facility. In fact, training should be ongoing regardless. To remain both the safest in the industry and the most on top of productivity, learning should be a continuous process.
Know whether your facility is ready
For the same reason you can’t hit the highway before you’ve learned how to drive in a parking lot, you should ensure your facility is ready before you implement any AI. Jumping on the automation train may seem necessary to stay with the times (nevermind ahead of them), but it simply may not make sense for smaller operations or those with constantly changing protocol. You can review further tips for working in automation, here.