Pokemon Go: A Warehouse Safety Nightmare
Warehouse Safety Regulations: “Trying to Catch Them All”
The Pokemon Go craze has swept the nation and many employers have seen its effects on their business. The app recently peaked at 25 million active users in the US with the average user being 25 years old. If you haven’t played the game it involves walking around while using your phone to catch Pokemon, but they come quickly so you must pay attention to your phone to catch them. A survey found that 69% of Pokemon Go users have played the game while at work.
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This game has affected the common employer, but players of the game are rather limited in the space available to walk around while at work to find Pokemon. This makes a distribution center a great environment to catch Pokemon. The average Amazon order fulfillment selector will walk about 12 miles a day and on average a Pokemon is spotted every ¼ mile, hypothetically an amazon selector can catch 48 Pokemon per shift. However, most employees should be doing their job and most warehouses have strict rules.
Most warehouses prohibit the use of cell phones. This is a good practice because pedestrians in the warehouse need to be fully aware of their surroundings at all times. As we know the warehouse is not the safest place with 10k fork trucks driving around blind corners. With warehouse safety being the ultimate concern, some employers have posted signs in the break room stating if an employee is caught playing Pokemon Go while at work in the warehouse, it is grounds for termination.
The Pokemon craze brings the opportunity to employers to reinforce and address the safety rules in the warehouse. This will be a good preventative measure because we all know the unfortunate vicious cycle of warehouse safety. Rules are created and enforced. Over time rules loosen and are not enforced like they should. An incident happens with someone being injured and rules are once again followed and enforced. This is the unfortunate truth for many poorly managed warehouses.
Some suggested courses of action that you should be focusing on for Operations Manager of safety concerns and rules.
- Review and Revise current warehouse rules and regulations
- Rules should be clear and concise
- Print and distribute revised rules to reflect more current safety regulations (refer to OSHA) to warehouse employees and hold meeting to make sure that everyone understands what is expected of them with these new rules
- Once understood and agreed to, rules should be enforced and consequences should be clear
- Rules should be constantly reviewed and revised as laws and technologies change often
Companies such as Amazon and Walmart have made safety in the warehouse the utmost importance. These companies spend a lot of time and money creating and enforcing rules. Working for one of these large companies as a contractor, I experienced first hand how stringent they are when it came to warehouse rules. When visiting these warehouses, I had to fill out forms stating what we were doing, watch videos about warehouse safe procedures and wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). As a contractor, it seemed that all of this was a little excessive, but this company had one of the lowest incident rates out of all major companies involved in warehousing and distribution.
The point I am trying to make is, safety is the most important thing once you walk through the doors of the warehouse. You are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of everyday order fulfillment activities. Safety is there to protect you from the dangers inside the chaotic warehouse, and should continue to be updated as time progress. Management needs to revisit the current safety rules that they have when it comes to personal technology in the warehouse to protect you from accidents that might occur from carelessness.
With this recent Pokemon craze, it would be a good time to hold a few meetings about warehouse safety, the rules and how important it is to be aware of your surrounding in the warehouse. Everyone wants to catch them all, but no one wants to get injured while at work.
Now that you know how to increase warehouse safety, learn how to increase your competitive advantage through order fulfillment.