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IoT Can Provide A Much-Needed Bandaid For Worksite Safety At Amazon

amazon building 

The story of the average Amazon worker brings to light much-needed automation in fulfillment plants around the globe. According to research, Amazon workers experience 9.6 serious workplace-related injuries per hundred, when compared to the industry standard of 4 per 100. While some countries like the UK have started their own inquiries into the hazards on the floor at an Amazon plant, there is still much to be done to improve security. For workers, one of the best ways to improve workplace safety is with the help of automation. While there are robotic hoists that carry completed orders from one area of the warehouse to another, more needs to be done regarding heavy lifting and unnecessary climbing. IoT might just be the answer

Amazon Is No Stranger To IoT 

Walk into an Amazon fulfillment center and there is no doubt that you'll be amazed at the sheer amount of technology used to constantly fulfill, check and report. Staff members are monitored every second of their workday, and for packers, this means a product placement every 11 seconds. Staff members are constantly checked and monitored to ensure that there is a smooth transition between front-end and fulfillment. This constant monitoring also allows Amazon to keep up with much-needed data to ensure that their stock levels are adequate, the production process is streamlined, and that each component of the process works like a well-oiled machine. 

IoT Bridges The Gap Between Employee Well-being And Optimal Performance 

Productivity wristbands provide Amazon with the information they require to track a worker's performance. However, these wristbands don't alert the company to the conditions of the plant or the strain the worker is facing. If staff members were provided with a wristband that allows the proper tracking of vital signs and other signs of fatigue or over-exertion, more could be done to improve workplace safety. Other components in the IoT network should check other workplace conditions, such as the weight and dimensions of items, the quality of air, and room temperature. According to Cerity, workplace safety is integral to the smooth running of a business, and while workplace safety risk can be insured, it's important that the workplace does as much as it can to improve working conditions for its staff. 

IoT Can Provide Insight Into Workplace Best Practices 

One of the most important functions of linking devices to the cloud and allowing for the data to be analyzed is to get insight into areas of the business that may need improvement. For Amazon, tapping into the best practices of packing sites with low injury rates will also allow greater success company-wide. Whether this is lifting and packing techniques, better physical awareness of the packers, or merely better overall working conditions, the data will provide the necessary information. The total cost of workplace injuries in 2018 was a massive $170.8 billion, which affected the overall economy. For companies like Amazon, this could affect their bottom line and might encourage stricter workplace safety regulations. 

While Amazon is still a favored company amongst those who want to earn a decent minimum wage, there is still much to be done to improve the effect the job has on the physical well-being of their staff. IoT might just provide the insight the company needs to improve conditions on the floor.

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Published Wednesday, March 11, 2020 8:45 AM by David Marshall
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