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Using video analytics to keep workers safe

Technology - specifically, video analytics - can play a key role in keeping warehouse workers safe amidst an increase in COVID-19 cases. Gary Mercer, Sales & Marketing Manager at VCA Technology explores.


Businesses across industries - from manufacturing to retail - rely on warehouses to function, and are dependent on workers to manage the storage and shipment of their products. Despite the virus and its evolving levels of gravity, these structures must remain open in order to keep the economy going. That being said, the risk of employees contracting the virus while at work is not to be neglected. For instance, a Tesco warehouse in Livingstone saw a COVID-19 outbreak in early September, forcing some of its staff to isolate, not only compromising the community’s wellbeing but also disrupting productivity for the business. 

This is why it’s crucial for businesses to monitor occupancy in their warehouses and minimise contact between team members. Policing this manually is nearly impossible - it would be incredibly time-consuming and resource-intensive - due to the sheer size of premises like warehouses. It’s therefore imperative for companies that want their operations to continue safely in these unpredictable circumstances to implement a modern solution to streamline this task.

Video analytics, particularly when coupled with pose estimation capabilities, can be a game-changing ally. This technology can transform the process of ensuring a maximum number of employees are in the warehouse at one time. This tool can also generate alerts when staff leave their assigned area, encouraging them to return to their zone - meaning managers’ time isn’t wasted on small issues such as these. 

Naturally, not all companies are considering investing in new technology, with budgets shrinking due to the current financial downturn. However, businesses can leverage video analytics and simply enforce safety measures by utilising existing equipment such as cameras or other hardware. Taking this leap makes commercial sense not only because it’s a relatively affordable implementation, but also because it empowers companies to make better use of their human resources and to minimise disruptions to operations caused by the virus.

It’s unclear how the situation will develop, but companies can take strategic steps to future-proof their business, make the most of their resources and invest in the right technology to recover from a challenging period.

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