Modernizing industry workplace safety

Generally speaking, workplace safety has come a long way over the years. Largely by learning the hard way, through post-event analysis and reporting that leads to safety practice reform and improvements. Experience is a hard but effective teacher—as one safety body puts it, “Why let a good accident go to waste?”

But workplace safety also still has some way to go, especially in industrial settings. Statistics show forklifts account for only 1% of all warehouse or factory accidents in the US, but that the accidents tend to be more serious, accounting for 11% of all physical injuries. And that while rates continue to improve in ports and cargo handling environments, the accidents that do occur often involve vehicles and lead to nearly 35% of days lost to injury.


Acceleration through digitalization
Owing to the nature of lifting operations, Konecranes has historically prioritized safety in the design and engineering of lift trucks. From around 2012, that commitment began to include a transformation to digital.

“We started with connecting sensors and IoT intelligent devices from our machines to the digital platform, what is now,” says Bertrand Marion, Director Business Development, IT & Digitalization at Konecranes. “It was the foundation of the platform we have today. The data overview from different applications provides a wide set of key performance indicators you can use to improve safety.”

Digitalization creates a powerful connection between machines, operators and safety engineers. It captures the raw data of machine and operating conditions, providing critical decision-making information that can help prevent accidents.

“Our solution can identify and alert you to events or faults instantly, such as equipment overloads, safety overrides or under- and over-pressure of tires,” says Bertrand. “You can use the collected data to inform your maintenance priorities. Or see if the lift truck is the optimal one for the job based on its ongoing operational data. Or identify potential ways to help drivers improve and work even more safely. Digitalization provides the instant and collected information that can protect the operation and operators in a more holistic way.”   

Personal control of better safety
Konecranes customers can also set operational work zones and parameters directly from the yourKONECRANES dashboard. You’re able to preset geo-fences, and define areas with speed and height limits that can help protect operators, site personnel or other vehicles and pedestrians.

Another important development has been the CheckApp digital inspection tool. This guides operators or service personnel through a step-by-step condition check prior to shifts or for periodic inspections. “It takes just a few minutes per shift to increase safety,” says Bertrand. “For example, it might help an operator detect an oil leak that could have led to a fire later in the shift. It’s a typical detail they might easily have missed without CheckApp.”

Looking forward to improved safety
Digitalization is having a profound impact on the transformation of industry, including lifting operations. For Konecranes customers, it’s generating real-time asset information that increase safety, improves productivity, operational efficiency and sustainability.

But just as importantly, it’s providing the transparency and accountability that lead to safer operations. “Digitalization is transforming the way we operate,” says Bertrand. “Today we can collect, store and visualize data in an aggregate way, so that we always know exactly how a machine is performing, and be aware of its condition or upcoming problems —I’m confident we’ll be seeing ever-growing safety monitoring solutions in the years to come.”



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