Long time exposure of poorly designed and obsolete mobile barcode scanners can cause serious health problems among logistics, warehousing and delivery workers with productivity taking a heavy beating, according to a recent report.
The report, “Scanning Pain For No Gain,” compiled by independent market research firm Opinion Matters, says that over 50 per cent of workers has reported Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) on wrist/arm and recurring life-long pain while 70 per cent of workers are forced take leave frequently causing huge loss to employers.
The report, commissioned by Panasonic Business, has recorded that over 60 per cent of workers belonged to warehousing, delivery and logistics industries have expressed apprehensions about the effectiveness of their mobile barcode scanner devices.
Cumbersome and slow scanning process affects workers badly who become more stressed at the end of the day. While 32 per cent was based on poor devices used, 31 per cent people got stressed when scanning large packages, 26 per cent felt it was hard to scan items, 23 per cent were unhappy due to less delivery time and 22 per cent people were worried seeing the number of packages to be scanned in a day.
Due to increase in business activities warehousing and logistics industry are growing manifold with scanning requirements rising dramatically. The number of scanning which averages around 200 per day is witnessing a year-on-year growth of 24 per cent.
Poor screen visibility, insufficient battery life, low signature sensitivity, difficulties in scanning barcodes and scan attempt failures were some of the major scanning device design issues reported by the workforce. Also, failure to capture electronic signature is also affecting the productivity with workers experiencing the device failure almost once in every two days, the report pointed out.
Experts believe that barcode scanning and signature capture can be improved by having high precision pen, angled barcode scanner and better day-light screen visibility. The report further suggested that an angled scanner and high precision pen can improve scanning productivity by 12 per cent.
“Workers using poorly designed and obsolete or older generation equipment for scanning which not only will spoil the productivity and employment prospects, but also their health,” said Dr Basheer Ahmed, senior orthopedic surgeon at Vijaya Health Centre, Chennai.
Repetitive Strain Injury is most common health issue faced by warehouse workers in India who, on an average, scan more than 200-300 barcodes daily printed on the consignments while taking delivery and sending goods outside.
With modern POS technology coming in, wearable barcode scanners should be used to reduce the strain on workers, which will also enhance the productivity.