The logistics industry is continuing to grow at an impressive rate as it becomes an ever more integral part of worldwide commerce. With spiraling global demand comes the need for continual improvement across every part of the industry, from the speed of the process to cost-effectiveness.
One of the areas likely lesser considered by most observers is the safety measures logistics businesses are taking to protect their employees and cargo, but these too are moving forward to meet the rigours of today’s industry.
The Dangers of the Industry
The safety statistics behind logistics show an industry that comes built in with some inherently risky processes. Of course, where heavy freight in high demand is concerned, there are bound to be dangers.
In the US, the OSHA estimates that roughly 475,000 large trucks with a gross vehicle rating of more than 10,000 pounds are involved in crashes a year, resulting in around 5,360 fatalities and 142,000 injuries annually. This presents a huge safety concern, primarily to drivers of other vehicles who lose out in such collisions and account for 74% of the fatality figure. 23% are truck drivers themselves, with 3% pedestrians.
Such figures are eye opening to say the least and provide a basis for action from logistics providers.
Communicating a Clear Culture
The best safety procedures are ones that are practiced as part of a transparent and considered culture. Top logistics businesses are looking to adopt positive safety culture as part of their day to day operations, meaning the entire company adheres to safety policies consistent with a modern business ethos.
What does a safety culture mean in real terms? A clear and openly communicated set of guidelines, a collaborative approach to safety audits and extensive training to promote a sense of personal accountability in each and every one of a business’s staff, from the warehouses to the skies.
‘Think Safety First’
B2B logistics providers Tuffnells is leading the domestic charge in safety standards with its ‘Think Safety First’ campaign, which offers an insight into the sort of measures top logistics brands are taking to protect road users, staff and freight.
Tuffnells have armed their 14 new semi-trailers with LED lighting for better internal visibility, cargo nets to protect drivers and goods and curved couplings so drivers needn’t walk on vehicle catwalks. They’ve also retrofitted dashcams in all their current fleet, as well as improving their forklift and tug provisions at depots for better and more efficient movement of freight.
Simple but effective measures, and ones that have the potential for huge safety improvements. The dashcam, for example, should help to negate vehicle speeding, which the OSHA claims plays a factor in 22% of fatal accidents, by encouraging high standards from drivers as well as better protecting them in the case of an incident.
While safety represents one small part of the wider logistics effort, it’s certainly not something businesses will be ignoring. Better safety standards play their part in a more efficient overall business model, so expect investment in safety improvements to continue as the industry grows.