Case study: Achieving over 99% OSHA forklift safety compliance through digital tools

Safety is a top of mind concern for any warehouse operator. The potential for danger is high with humans and machines sharing space in tight, fast-paced environments. Because of this, forklifts and other material handling equipment are an area of focus for regulators. In FY2018 alone, OSHA issued nearly $6.3 million in fines to over 1,500 companies for safety citations related to forklifts. Forklifts represented the single largest category of safety citations for warehouses.

To avoid citations, OSHA requires all forklifts to be inspected by their operators at the beginning of every shift, and for any identified deficiencies (e.g. inoperable headlights, broken mirrors, etc.) to be corrected before those forklifts are operated. Violations of either of these processes can result in fines of over $10,000 per forklift.

In most warehouses today, the inspection process is done on paper checklists. Like any paper-based process, this has its shortcomings: the completed checklists are frequently filed away in drawers never to be seen again, and managers cannot be sure which operators are actually completing their checklists or if any identified issues are actually being fixed.

OneTrack AI’s computer vision-based forklift safety and utilization improvement system includes a digital solution to fix these shortcomings. Through a tablet installed in the forklift, the operator can complete their pre-shift inspection checklist. If an issue is identified, maintenance personnel are notified via text and email. Operators receive audio and visual alerts when they operate a forklift without completing their inspection. And to track progress, warehouse management can access live reports detailing how often their forklifts are being operated outside of OSHA compliance.

A major 3PL that installed OneTrack AI experienced the benefits of this digital shift first-hand. When they first installed the system, they learned that pre-shift checklists at one of their facilities were only being completed 40% of the time - a problem they were not aware of before.

With the digital data collected from OneTrack in hand, the 3PL’s facility management implemented new policies, re-trained their operators, and saw immediate improvement. Within four weeks, pre-shift inspection checklists were being completed over 99% of the time. They now monitor checklist compliance on a daily basis, ensuring their lifts are being operated in a safe manner.

Want to learn more or see if OneTrack is a fit for your forklift fleet? Reach out to us to schedule a time to talk.