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Level up Warehouse Safety with These Connected Solutions

Posted by Sean Murphy on Jun 7, 2024

The labor shortage continues to be a substantial challenge for warehouse operations. A FreightWaves article highlights a survey from Instawork that asserts this. Its 2022 survey shows that 73% of businesses are having difficulty attracting employees. Despite the shortage, demand is still rising, with nearly 60% of companies reporting an increase in fulfillment volume.

The issue has become so problematic that more than half of light industrial businesses now rely more on temporary workers than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 84% of these businesses turned to staffing agencies for assistance. Unfortunately, this strategy has largely been unsuccessful. That’s because only 6% were able to secure the additional workers they needed.

Fewer individuals are entering the warehouse workforce. Moreover, the situation is exacerbated by the retirement of more experienced workers. The industry is losing its most skilled personnel, making it crucial to bring in new workers before the veterans leave. This provides the opportunity to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills. However, with fewer experienced supervisors available, there is less oversight to make sure safety practices are followed and make necessary corrections.

It is clear that warehouse workers are having to do more with fewer resources. This trend increases the risks of fatigue and burnout. Worker fatigue is a real concern, along with a higher likelihood of illnesses and injuries. Common injuries include forklift accidents, ergonomic injuries, slips, trips, and falls. Workers are also at risk for heat stroke, falling objects, and the lack of wearing personal protect equipment correctly.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there is a 37% increased risk of injury when working 12-hour shifts. Health and fatigue-related lost productivity costs employers an estimated $136.4 billion annually. On top of this, businesses don’t have visibility into operations. Despite these challenges, maintaining safety remains a top priority for warehouse operations.

Ensuring people’s safety is paramount. Nonetheless, how can warehouse operators maintain a safe working environment when they are so understaffed? They are already managing increased workloads with fewer resources. The solution lies in investing in connected and automated safety solutions, which can enhance the overall safety of the facility.

The Benefits of Connected Safety and Security Solutions

Connected safety solutions deliver a sophisticated and comprehensive approach to ensuring worker safety in warehouses and other environments. As safety technologies evolve, these solutions stand out by taking advantage of connectivity to improve real-time monitoring, communication, and emergency response capabilities.

Emerging technologies like connected devices such as cameras and wearables consisting of artificial intelligence can gather data to help identify safety hazards. They can analyze the information and trigger a response as needed. The device or the human working with artificial intelligence can communicate with users, safety managers, or leaders.

Safety managers typically have multiple responsibilities causing them to be overextended. Connected safety and security systems serve as an extension of the safety manager, consolidating valuable insights into a single dashboard. A connected safety system that’s accessible with just a few clicks can significantly increase the protection of employees and the business’s bottom line.

At the heart of connected safety solutions is the seamless integration of devices, sensors, and communication networks. This interconnected infrastructure allows for continuous data collection and analysis from diverse sources. It provides a big-picture understanding of the safety landscape. These solutions offer a robust framework for mitigating risks and responding promptly to potential hazards.

Real-time monitoring is a key feature of connected safety solutions. By deploying sensors and smart devices throughout an environment, these systems constantly monitor parameters such as air quality, temperature, and hazardous material levels. Real-time monitoring can speed up the early detection of potential risks and allow for quick, targeted responses to help prevent these risks from escalating.

In emergencies, rapid and effective communication is essential. Communication is another crucial aspect of connected safety solutions. These systems offer seamless instant communication among individuals, devices, and centralized control centers. Connected safety solutions ensure the broadcasting of vital information to coordinate response efforts and notify relevant stakeholders.

Emergency response capabilities are greatly enhanced by connected safety solutions. In the event of an incident, these systems can automatically trigger alerts and notifications, streamlining the initiation of emergency protocols. Additionally, connectivity allows for precise location tracking of workers within a facility or across a broader area, speeding up the deployment of response teams to the exact location of an incident.

Another notable advantage of connected safety solutions is scalability. Whether implemented in a small facility or a large urban environment, these systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs and complexities of different warehouse settings. Since the scope and nature of potential risks evolve, these devices have the needed adaptability to increase safety and security.

Choosing the Right Connected Warehouse Safety Solutions

Connected safety solutions epitomize the next frontier in safeguarding workers and assets. The key to making the most of technology in warehouse operations is to integrate and customize a connected warehouse safety solution.

The challenge is determining which warehouse safety solution can deliver for a specific warehouse operation. As you look for connected warehouse safety solutions, here are the main questions to ask.

What is the problem that needs addressing?

Review warehouse operations to identify the biggest concerns. What are the common injuries and safety hazards? Are there any common denominators? For instance, falls that occur in the same general area or the location of break-ins.

It takes time for workers to feel the pains that come with repetitive motion. Don’t wait until there are signs of ergonomic injuries. Locate repetitive activities and see if they can lead to an ergonomic injury. Maybe workers are already experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). It may be time to explore automation or job rotations. This is where employees rotate activities to prevent them from doing the same motion for a long time.

What other risks and hazards could there be? Don’t wait for something to happen. Research these to make a list. Look for trends in the warehouse operations industry. Has the facility had any injury or criminal near misses? How can you prevent those from happening again?

What is the scope of the warehouse activity?

Every warehouse is unique. The ideal warehouse-connected technology may work well for a smaller warehouse and not be hardy enough for a large one. Therefore, considerations include the size of the warehouse, the number of people performing the work in each section or area, the equipment used, and the movement of people and equipment like forklifts.

What are the opportunities for connectivity and integration?

What is the point of investing in warehouse-connected technology if they don’t talk to each other? Before investing in any security and safety technology, understand how the devices integrate and work together.

Everything does not have to be integrated and connected. The warehouse may need multiple grouped solutions. For example, it may need the Internet of Things (IoT) where the workers and equipment are located.

There’s a wearable technology where workers wear an IoT device in their PPE. The large mobile equipment would also have sensors. These connected devices can monitor when a worker and equipment get too close to each other and issue a warning.

This technology cannot determine if workers are wearing the correct PPE for the task, are following procedures, and have access to the area they’re in. That would require integrated security technology. A powerful solution consists of video surveillance, remote monitoring, and an access control system. Together, these can spot potential hazards, wrong PPE, and control access.

Top Connected Warehouse Safety and Security Options

Now is a great time to invest in connected warehouse safety and security technology as tech-savvy generations join the workforce. Here are the top warehouse safety technology innovations to boost warehouse safety and security.


As mentioned before, wearables have integrated sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) with Wi-Fi GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID). Warehouse management can track individuals and equipment.

With the worker shortage, fatigue is a big problem. Fortunately, there are warehouse safety technologies that can predict worker fatigue. The tech can track a person’s temperature, heart rate, sleep, and wake times to generate data for fatigue reports.

Training is getting more effective thanks to augmented and virtual reality. Workers can learn new skills without any risk. Plus, a trainer can watch and communicate with the student without being in the same room. This training helps workers learn multiple tasks to allow them to rotate stations and avoid ergonomic injuries.

Access control system

Access control systems manage access to physical spaces making sure that only authorized workers can enter different areas in the warehouse. An access control system contains advanced authentication methods for controlling access.

By implementing an access control system, warehouses help prevent unapproved access while keeping track of who enters and exits. The system can generate a report for security analysis. When a warehouse integrates an access control system with video surveillance, it allows the security system to connect access events to matching video footage.

Video surveillance with remote monitoring

Security cameras — without human involvement or artificial intelligence — cannot deter warehouse crime or catch potential safety hazards in time to prevent injuries. A proactive safety and security integrating solution like remote video monitoring must combine human operating monitors and advanced technology. The technology handles the tedious task of monitoring video. It’s programmed to spot specific scenarios and send an alert.

Trained monitoring operators add value by separating real threats from false alarms and handling strategic tasks. This combination of technology and human expertise heightens the early detection of issues, identifying safety hazards, and minimizing injuries. Additionally, monitoring operators work in a remote location. It’s like adding a full-time employee without the cost of one.

The Need for Warehouse Safety to Include Connected Solutions

The labor shortage in warehouse operations remains a significant challenge. Despite increasing demand and fulfillment volumes, over half of light industrial businesses now rely more on temporary workers than before. The retirement of experienced workers further exacerbates the issue, resulting in a loss of skilled personnel and fewer supervisors to enforce safety practices.

This trend increases the risk of fatigue, injuries, and costly safety violations. Connected safety solutions offer a proactive approach to address these challenges. Using networked devices like cameras and wearables, these systems provide real-time monitoring, efficient communication, and robust emergency responses.

By integrating human intelligence and video analytics, they can enhance safety management, reduce risks, and improve overall operational efficiency, ensuring a safer work environment despite staffing shortages.

Adopting warehouse safety solutions is a continuous process to keep the warehouse safe and secure while enhancing the warehouse’s operational efficiency. For a customized warehouse safety solution that usually  gets a return on investment within months, contact us.

Texas Private Security License Number: B14187
California Alarm Operator License Number: ACO7876
Florida Alarm System Contractor I License Number: EF20001598
Tennessee Alarm Contracting Company License Number: 2294
Virginia Private Security Services Business License Number: 11-19499
Alabama Electronic Security License # 002116
Canada TSBC License: LEL0200704