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05/05/2021

Walmart puts premium on warehouse safety with wearable tech

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is putting a spotlight on employee safety with a wearable technology program it is implementing in its distribution centers.

In 2018, the retailer began deploying the StrongArm Technologies Fuse Risk Management Platform at a Walmart grocery distribution center in Gordonsville, Va. As part of the rollout, associates wear a small sensor between their shoulder blades. 

Associates wearing the Fuse sensors have a safety score as a benchmark. The higher they score from 0-100 every shift, the safer they have been. The sensors provide intuitive, actionable data on worker activity across multiple job functions. In addition, the data provides management with information to publicly praise associates who are consistently safety leaders.

Within the first year of deploying Fuse, targeted, ergonomic-related injuries decreased by nearly 65% across participating associates. Furthermore, Walmart saw an additional year-over-year targeted injury reduction of 27% in year two, and 16% in year three. 

Since 2018, the company has launched the platform across 18 buildings and 6,000 associates, and additional program growth is underway.

“As part of our focus on associate safety, we are always looking for innovative technology to make the job easier and more efficient,” said Wendy Johnson, VP, supply chain environmental health and safety, Walmart, in a corporate blog post. “Going forward, we will continue to invest in the best, most leading-edge technology available. As always, that begins and ends with safety.”