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DHL uses IoT to improve workplace safety for warehouse employees in Singapore

Anuradha Shukla | June 2, 2017
Leverages data from wearable wireless sensors to prevent accidents

DHL Singapore -Employee completing a safety and fatigue checklist at the beginning of a shift.
Employee completing a safety and fatigue checklist at the beginning of a shift. Credit: DHL

DHL Supply Chain — the contract logistics specialist within the Deutsche Post DHL Group — recently completed a pilot at the DHL Advanced Regional Center in Singapore to create a safer warehouse environment using Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The company was successful in preventing accidents by leveraging data from wearable wireless sensors.

These sensors monitored employee fatigue levels, suggested rest periods, and sent alerts when people were in close proximity to moving equipment.

All of the above was accomplished in real time, indicating a breakthrough that could prove crucial for preventing accidents.

"At DHL, safety is our number one priority and there is a strong commitment to the health and safety of our employees at all levels of the organisation,"said Steve Walker, chief information officer Asia Pacific and Global Warehouse Management System Centre of Excellence, DHL Supply Chain. "So when we were exploring the use of wearable sensors and how we can leverage the technology for our operations, we naturally chose to focus this pilot project around warehouse safety."


Preventive measures

This pilot comes in the wake of an increase in number of workplace accidents in 2016. Last year, Singapore had to deal with more than 2,000 incidents of workers being struck by moving vehicles in their workplace.

The Ministry of Manpower Singapore has announced onsite vehicular safety as one of the top three priority areas for improving workplace safety and health in 2017.

DHL has been testing the use of IoT in its warehouses since 2015 with various partners.

It is now implementing the technology to monitor operational activities in real-time with heat maps and other visualization tools to optimize operational efficiency and improve employee safety.

"We have learned a huge amount about IoT from this pilot project," said Walker. "Now we are evaluating how we can roll out this solution in Asia Pacific and leverage it to add further value for our customers and the business."



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