Amazon has announced its European Operations Innovation Lab which it has established to improve employee safety and well-being through the use of advanced technologies. The new lab is based in Vercelli, Italy, and has already started testing and developing technologies that improve worker safety.
The new technologies that Amazon is currently working on include Item Sorters, Pallet Movers, Tote Retrievers, Automated Guided Vehicles, and Robot Sorters. Together, these technologies will reduce muscle strain, the need to lift totes, and cut down on the amount of time that employees need to spend walking around the warehouse.
Stefano La Rovere, Head of EU Advanced Technology at Amazon, leads scientists and engineers at the Lab. He said:
“We work closely with health and safety experts and scientists, conduct thousands of safety inspections each day in our buildings, and have made hundreds of changes as a result of employee feedback on how we can improve their well-being at work. As soon as we deploy a new technology and train our people, the ongoing feedback from our employees helps us refine and improve, with our people at the heart of helping develop the right technology for their part of the business.””
Some of the technologies have been deployed in some areas; the Automated Guided Vehicles have been deployed in Italy and are being implemented in Poland and the UK; Tote Retrievers are rolling out in Poland and the UK; Item Sorters and Pallet Movers are being used in Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, and the UK; and Robot Sorters are being used in Italy, Spain, and Germany and later this year, they will come to Poland, France, and the UK.
To ensure that each technology continues to function properly, Amazon’s Reliability Maintenance Engineering teams monitor them on an ongoing basis. Additionally, all Amazon staff are given being given training each time a new innovation is introduced to the warehouses.