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One of the greatest challenges in any industrial manufacturing is balancing workplace safety versus productivity. Material handling is a critical function in any manufacturing plant or distribution facility. It is also a primary contributor to production rates and a leading cause of injuries.
Ultimately, people are the most important asset of any workplace, and organizations must protect them. Therefore, considering legal and ethical factors, it is logical to view safety as more important than productivity. However, there is a way to ensure both.

Material Handling Injuries Cost Over $26 Billion Annually

Workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses more than $1 billion a week, according to Liberty Mutual’s 2021 Workplace Safety Index: the top 10 causes of disabling injuries. The leading 10 causes of workplace injury cost US businesses over $58 billion in 2021.

Five of the top 10 Injuries are common in manufacturing and distribution facilities; these injuries cost $26.54 billion.

  • Overexertion was the most common injury, with a total cost of $13.3 billion in 2021
  • Being struck by an object or equipment costs $5.61 billion
  • Motorized land vehicle crashes, $3.16 billion
  • Being struck by, caught in, or compressed by equipment or objects had a combined total of $4.47 billion.

Material handling equipment such as forklifts are major contributors to these injuries. According to OSHA, every year

  • Almost 1oo people are killed by a forklift accident
  • Over 30,000 people are SERIOUSLY injured
  • Over 60,000 non-serious injuries occur

These numbers break down to an average of 600 severe and 1,200 non-serious injuries per week. When employees feel valued and protected, it shows in the quality of their work. All in all, safety is good for business. A safe workplace generates more than financial rewards; it reduces absenteeism and turnover, increases productivity and quality, and improves employee morale.

Improve Productivity while Reducing Safety Risks with HALO

The HALO Drive System is a retrofittable motorized drive caster system with omnidirectional mobility designed to increase manoeuvrability, decrease process times, and reduce related injuries. The Halo Drive System replaces the need for overhead cranes in the work environment, thus reducing the numerous safety issues associated with cranes.  In addition, cranes require an installation process, can be very costly to expand capacity, and require a great deal of training to operate.  The HALO Drive System has no installation process; it is easy to expand capacity and simple to use with minimal training.

An important addition to the manufacturing floor

The HALO Drive Caster System is an important addition to the manufacturing floor for many reasons, from both a safety and a productivity standpoint.  Heavy loads of material, up to 40k lbs., can be loaded onto the HALO Drive Cart bed and safely transported to their desired location.  With the precise, omnidirectional mobility the HALO Drive System offers, numerous sites can have different specific angles, positions, and heights.

The HALO Drive System also reduces the workers needed, decreasing the chance of injuries. HALO is easily managed by one person operating the hand controller and another verifying a clear path for movement.  After checking the intended direction of the system for clearance, the battery charge is observed, and then the system is ready for motion.  The simplicity of operation greatly reduces the required crew size.

This simplicity also increases the safety conditions within the workplace.  Employees are no longer injuring themselves by attempting to lift and transport loads above their capabilities.

What is more critical, productivity or safety?

Plant managers often feel that productivity pulls them in one direction while safety pushes them in the other. These two objectives seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. It can be argued that businesses must view safety and productivity as goals to achieve together rather than ‘safety first’ after productivity. When safety improves, so does productivity. Each priority feeds the other in various ways. Studies have shown that the health and safety of employees are key to achieving an organization’s desired productivity and efficiency.

With the HALO Drive System’s omnidirectional capabilities, you can achieve both.

The result is overall safety, productivity, and even quality improvement. We help increase productivity while improving safety with innovative motor-powered Drive Systems that do not require certification or advanced skills. These systems offer numerous safety options and options to improve processes and increase productivity.

Conceptual Innovations is at the forefront of revolutionizing industries through cutting-edge motor-powered Drive Systems that redefine safety, productivity, and quality. Our groundbreaking solutions empower organizations to boost productivity without needing complex certifications or advanced skills. With a wide array of safety features and process-enhancing options, our systems open new horizons for enhancing operational efficiency and improving product quality.

Visit the Drive Systems page to learn more. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953620308121#bib85