ELOshield Enhances Forklift Safety for Glencore's Recycling Facility

ELOshield Enhances Forklift Safety for Glencore's Recycling Facility
Safer forklift movements at Glencore

Improving Safety in Recycling Operations


Glencore, a global leader in commodity trading and mining, employs around 130,000 people worldwide, with a small but crucial facility in Rhode Island. This site handles the initial steps of recycling electronic materials, which are then processed further in Canada to produce nearly pure copper and precious metals. In Rhode Island, 35 employees work on shredding materials, reducing particle size, and preparing samples for smelting and refining.


The project at a glance

5

Forklifts

35 employees

at Rhode Island Facility

6 months

to Achieve Full Acceptance

No Incidents

Since Implementation


The Challenge
Navigating Safely in a Complex Environment

The electronics recycling process has changed significantly over the years, requiring Glencore to continually adapt and tweak its processes. Modern electronics are mixed with various materials, complicating sampling and preparation. This complexity, combined with the high volume of forklift traffic and the close proximity of pedestrians in a relatively small environment, presented significant safety challenges.

Forklift-related accidents were a notable concern at Glencore. In 2021, an unfortunate incident occurred between an employee and a forklift. Thankfully, nobody was injured, however, it underscored the need for better safety measures and technology to prevent such incidents in the future

The Solution
Implementing ELOshield for Enhanced Awareness

After the 2021 incident, Glencore sought a reliable safety solution to address these challenges. They chose ELOKON's ELOshield for its advanced warning capabilities, especially in areas with limited visibility. The system alerts both forklift operators and pedestrians, significantly improving safety in confined spaces.
Juan Carlos Molines, Plant Manager at Glencore, emphasized the benefits of ELOshield: "Since we installed ELOshield, we haven't had any significant incidents involving forklifts. The system has increased everyone's awareness and hazard perception, making our facility much safer."

Implementation and Results

Initial trials of ELOshield proved successful, leading to a full-scale implementation. The system increased safety awareness and hazard recognition among employees. It became integral to daily operations, including safety meetings and visitor protocols. Employees reported positive feedback, appreciating the increased safety.

Customized Safety Zones for Optimal Protection

Glencore equipped all forklifts and personnel, including visitors, with ELOshield. The system's adjustable alert distances allowed for customized safety zones tailored to specific facility needs. This flexibility ensured comprehensive protection for everyone on site.

Overcoming Initial Resistance

As with any new technology, there was initial resistance from some employees. However, consistent management reinforcement and the evident benefits of the system led to its acceptance. Within six months, the culture shift towards safety was well-established, with ELOshield playing a central role in daily operations.

Employee and Visitor Safety

The implementation of ELOshield has significantly improved the safety culture at Glencore's Rhode Island facility. The system's ability to alert both forklift operators and pedestrians has heightened overall safety awareness. This has not only reduced the number of incidents but also improved the general hazard perception among employees.

A key feature of ELOshield is its 2-way ranging ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which automatically detects when persons or other vehicles creep into the danger zone of a forklift truck. It warns the drivers through visual and acoustic signals and reduces the vehicle's speed until the hazardous situation is resolved. This feature has been crucial in preventing accidents and ensuring a safer work environment.

Operational Integration

ELOshield's integration into Glencore's daily operations was smooth and effective. The system's benefits were quickly realized, becoming an essential part of safety meetings and visitor protocols. Employees now routinely discuss the system's benefits during safety briefings, sharing experiences and suggestions for further improvements.

The system's adjustable alert distances have allowed Glencore to customize safety zones according to their specific needs. This adaptability has been particularly beneficial in areas with limited visibility, such as around corners and confined spaces.

Expanding ELOshield's Reach

Encouraged by the success of ELOshield, Glencore plans to install more systems, focusing on high-risk areas. They are also considering integrating speed regulation features to further enhance safety. The successful implementation at Rhode Island has inspired other Glencore facilities to explore similar safety measures.

 


A Commitment to Safety and Continuous Improvement

Glencore is committed to continuous safety improvement and is working closely with ELOKON to enhance system functionalities and adapt to evolving safety needs. The partnership remains strong, with timely support and ongoing support from both the ELOKON and Glencore teams. Juan Carlos Molines, Plant Manager at Glencore, expressed his gratitude for his team's efforts in making this success happen: "I want to thank Danny Tremblay for bringing a safety culture to Glencore and supporting the ELOshield initiative. Darren Weigel, our Logistics and Purchasing Assistant, has been invaluable in helping with projects and daily operations. Ernesto Perez, along with Darren, provides crucial support. Their dedication and collaboration have been essential to our
success."

The ELOshield system has proven to be a valuable investment for Glencore, significantly improving safety and awareness at their Rhode Island facility. The commitment from both management and employees to embrace and utilize the system has been key to its success.


For more information on how ELOKON's safety solutions can make your facility safer and more efficient, download our e-book or contact our sales team and take the first step towards a safer workplace today.


About Glencore

Glencore is a major recycler of end-of-life electronics, lithium-ion batteries, and other critical metal-containing products. They have long been closing the loop for critical metals like copper, nickel, cobalt, zinc and precious metals and are committed to responsibly sourcing the commodities the world needs to advance everyday life.


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