There are a number of
danger zones along the route
between a distribution center and the customer.
According to federal labor records, warehouse and
storage workers su;er 15,000 injuries and illnesses
each year, and accidents involving trucks kill more
than 5,300 people and injure 142,000 annually.
The financial cost of logistics accidents is also high.
In 2014, the National Safety Council estimated that
work injuries in the U.S. cost companies US$198.2
billion, mostly in wage and productivity losses and
medical costs. Implementing an e;ective logistics
safety program can provide a significant ROI for
companies, states a white paper by Kane is Able,
a Scranton, Pennsylvania-based cargo and freight
Safety in Logistics Operations details four strategies
for creating a more safe way to get shipments from
one point to the next:
1) Emphasize safety culture over safety practices.
This starts with executives, who must do more than
pay lip service to safety. They should ask sta;ers for
feedback, set such objectives as a certain number
Decrease in profits last year for Wabtec Corp., a Wilmerding, Pennsylvania-based rail equipment company, as railways slowed spending amid a slump in the
intermodal freight market. Wabtec reported a profit of US$305 million, or $3.34 a
share, compared to the $399 million ($4.10 a share) the company made in 2015.
of consecutive incident-free days, and
reward workers when a goal is met.
2) Make safety audits collaborative,
not confrontational. Auditors should
build relationships with facility
managers and not show up exclusively
for inspections. Ensure that audits
are an endeavor aimed at achieving
mutually desired goals, not a “gotcha”
3) Train incessantly on safe operations.
Emphasize that workers must avoid
the temptation to believe nothing
can go wrong with a well-built piece
of machinery. Provide intensive
training in the areas in which the
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) issues the
most citations: forklifts, hazard
communication, electrical wiring
and systems, guarding floor and wall
openings, and mechanical power
4) Promote personal accountability.
The current days-without-incident
metric should be prominently
displayed. Such transparency and
accountability enables associates to
take pride in good performance and
creates competition between facilities.
Energy management specialist
Schneider Electric North America
estimates that a safety program at
its facilities has saved the company
$10 million in direct costs each year.
Schneider’s rate of medical incidents
has dropped from three per 100
employees to one, and annual workers
compensation claims fell from $1.5
million to $500,000.