The logistics sector remains a priority for the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in terms of reducing the number of injuries sustained in the workplace. Although classified separately, both the wholesale sector and transport and storage are rated as having ‘statistically significant’ non-fatal injury rates above the average.
There are, of course, lots of risk factors associated with the industry. The presence of heavy vehicles and machinery around pedestrian workers plus lifting and manoeuvring heavy loads at height combine to create more opportunities for accidents than you would find in the average workplace.
The HSE lists the most prevalent causes of accidents in haulage, distribution and warehousing as falls from vehicles, being hit by moving vehicles, manual handling, slips and trips, and failure to secure loads properly. Add to that the risks associated with other machinery and equipment, such as forklifts, conveyors, automated stacking machines and so on.
One of the essential ingredients in managing these risks is good communication. You can have all the policies and protocols you like in place, but when it comes to operating on the warehouse floor or in the delivery bay, it is about coordinating teams efficiently and effectively, recognising risks and communicating so potential accidents are avoided.
The role of two way radio
That is one reason why two way radio has such a long history of being used in logistics and warehousing operations. If you want to manage risk ‘in play’ in the middle of a busy shift, keeping everyone connected with a mobile communication device makes perfect sense.
Today’s two way radios are better suited than ever to helping manage safety in industrial environments. To illustrate how, let’s take a closer look at one model, the Motorola DP1400, and hone in on how it can boost safety protocols in a logistics setting.
The DP1400 is a typical example of a standard professional two way radio. It is a non-display model, it sticks to the classic ‘walkie talkie’ design and operation is built around the familiar push-to-talk button. Yet compared to older generations of two way radio, the DP1400 is much better adapted to the needs of industry in a number of ways.
For a start, the DP1400 is a digital two way radio, although it can also operate on analogue signals as well. In digital mode, it has around 40% longer battery life than comparable analogue models, so there is no risk of handsets running out of juice deep into long shifts. Higher output power also means a better signal range, so there is less risk of users at the far end of the warehouse missing out on critical information because the signal drops out.
In addition, digital technology delivers much better audio quality. The DP1400 features noise cancelling and automatic gain control, so even when they are being used in very noisy environments around machinery and vehicles, calls come through loud and clear.
Like most two way radios, the DP1400 can be paired with earpieces and microphones so it can be used hands-free. In addition, it also features VOX, or voice activation technology, so you can makes calls just by speaking, without having to press a button. This is very useful for forklift drivers and when workers are busy moving loads, as they can take part in conversations as they work without having to stop or become distracted every time they have to press the button.
The DP1400 also offers private call as well as standard whole-network broadcasts. This means messages can be targeted more specifically to where they need to go, cutting down on clutter over the airwaves and reducing the risk of important messages being missed.
Finally, if an accident did occur, the DP1400 has an Emergency Call function, which overrides all other calls currently being made so the alert can be raised and assistance can be called. This can also be used in any situation where a critical or urgent communication has to get through, for example to start an evacuation, or to raise the alarm about an imminent danger.
So in a sector where health and safety remains a high priority because of the nature of the work, robust and trustworthy communications is a key part of any successful approach. Modern digital two way radio is designed specifically to assist with efficient safety management and monitoring, delivering reliable connections, high quality audio in all situations and the ability for workers to use it safely and seamlessly as they work. It also offers dedicated features, like Emergency Calling, that help to ensure that responses to emergency situations are handled as effectively as possible.
For more information on what other two way radio models have to offer, visit www.brentwoodradios.co.uk.