Northern Direct Logistics is a large third-party logistics company that serves many clients in the online retail industry across Canada. With 8 locations across the country, they ship approximately 20 million kg of cargo per year, totaling over 5000 shipments per day. Material handling is one of the main activities at the distribution facilities in Mississauga, ON, where Northern Direct Logistics piloted Humo technology.
The workforce at the Northern Direct Mississauga facility was dealing with large shipments of heavy cargo on a daily basis when the pilot with Humo began, and back injuries were a number one concern for management. After only one week of deploying Humo at Northern Direct, managers were able to use the data collected in the Humo Dashboard to make actionable insights into which factors were causing the greatest risk for workers. For example, the managers observed a trend that the riskiest times of day by far were the hours following 11:00 am and 4:00 pm - or shortly before lunchtime and near the end of the shift. This indicated that workers were at the greatest risk of injury when rushing to complete jobs at these high-stress times. Knowing this, the managers at Northern Direct were able to immediately take action by directing changes to processes and workplace culture in order to begin to resolve this issue.
After the initial period of data collection, Northern Direct enabled feedback for workers on the Humo devices. With live feedback, workers were alerted with a light vibration from Humo of each high-risk posture performed throughout the day. One worker, Jason, had initially been clocking 288 high-risk postures a day - a high number, even for an individual working in packing. However, after four weeks, Jason was able to reduce his number of high-risk postures by an astonishing 93% - to just 20 high-risk postures daily. Jason became one of the safest performers on the team as a result. Perhaps most impressive is that this remarkable improvement was largely self-directed: Jason was enabled by Humo to keep track of his improvement over time as he made adjustments to his lifting posture.
Jason was not the only employee to see strong improvement. By the time the 3-week pilot was completed, the Mississauga facility had seen an improvement of 84% in their number of high-risk postures performed across the board. In addition to this impressive result, Northern Direct managers also observed that a positive and conscious attitude towards safety among the workers was noticeably reinforced while using Humo. As safety culture is integral to Northern Direct company culture as a whole, this was a big win for the team in Mississauga.