Wearable technology significantly reduces warehouse injuries

A company has used wearable technology in its UK warehouse to reduce injury risks, with impressive results.

According to a report by EHS Today, Wincanton discovered that musculoskeletal activity is the fourth highest hazard in its warehouse. A fifth of all products handled at the Wincanton warehouse are over 15 kilograms. There is a high risk of musculoskeletal injuries when manually lifting these heavy items from shelves to packing stations.

Wincanton provided new workers with manual handling training in classrooms, but wanted a way to train workers more effectively on the job. The solution was the SoterCoach system, which has a wearable clip-on sensor that provides data on how the workers are moving. The system alerts the user to high-risk spine movements and feedback on lumbar flexion, repetitive movements, static postures and rotation. The data collected is used by workers and their supervisors to identify wrong movements and learn correct movement patterns.

New employees used the technology, along with those returning to work after an injury. At random times, other workers were chosen to use the system.

Workers were at first suspicious of the devices, thinking that they were being tracked and monitored by their employers on performance issues. Presentations from Soter explained to workers how the devices were used only as a teaching aid to protect them from injuries.

After 250 days of using the SoterCoach system, there were no days lost due to manual handling injuries. This cut the cost of musculoskeletal injuries to the business and created a “safety first” culture in the warehouse.

Posted by Derek
13th June 2022
Health & Safety

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