YOKE’s Tech for Safety Keeps Workers Hanging

YOKE’s mission is simple: to protect human lives. As a globally leading safety hoisting company, YOKE provides safety hooks to 90% of the world’s top-500 manufacturers. And each of YOKE’s annually produced 40 million hooks comes with an immense sense of duty, notes Steven Hong, owner and chairman of YOKE.

“We take our responsibility to protect millions of workers and their families very seriously,” he says. “The fate of workers who fall from great heights will be determined by the safety hook they wear. So what we really sell is not hooks but safety, making product quality our priority in everything we do.”

Chairman Steven Hong

Today’s industrial lifting operations are fraught with danger; safety operation manuals are not always appropriately kept in the workplace, and safety inspection instructions are not always readily available. In addition, product labeling issues have long been a source of concern in the lifting industry. With dedication to the production of lifting equipment, YOKE therefore saw digitalization and the emergence of smart solutions as an opportunity to guarantee correct labeling and raise safety standards to unprecedented levels.

“The traditional lifting industry is a fairly mature and conservative market, which makes it challenging to introduce new technology,” says Hong. “The gap between traditional production and high technology has widened as a result of the high-cost threshold and unfamiliarity with digital innovation. That’s why we wanted to open the door to digital technology for global partners and manufacturers and reverse the old thinking of the industry.”

Safety equipment requires tags with specifications and regular inspections to ensure that they remain secure to use. Unfortunately, traditional tags deteriorate from wind, physical impact, and other corrosion, rendering the tag unreadable and, consequently, the hook unusable. To tackle this issue, YOKE developed the digital chip – SupraTag.

This waterproof, oilproof, and dustproof SupraTag with IP68 ingress protection and IK10 impact protection has passed a series of strict tests, including the MIL-STD 810H U.S. military standard impact test, as well as high-frequency vibration and 96-hour constant corrosion resistance tests.

Rather than relying on traditional paper reports, the RFID SupraTag connects to RiConnect’s cloud-based RiConnectApp, which uses an anti-counterfeit identification system to review each individual hook. Users can quickly assess the product’s safety status, obtain safety operation instructions before carrying out hoisting operations, and perform pre-use inspections within seconds by opening the RiConnectApp.

“Traditionally, one hook requires more than 60 pages of reports,” says Tom Lin, CEO of YOKE. “This bears the risk of papers getting lost or damaged. For our 40 million safety hooks, digitalization not only ensures that information is readily available, but it also saves more than 12.4 billion pages of paper – which is the equivalent of all the trees on 5 Alishan mountains – annually.”

In addition to providing products of the highest safety standards, YOKE also offers training in collaboration with Industrial Training International (ITI) and its numerous daughter companies in East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.

“We’re very excited about our training programs and centers,” says Ken Lee, YOKE vice president of sales and pro-ducts . “We want to do everything we can to prevent injuries, so apart from offering safe products, our training courses ensure employee safety and reduce liability issues for employers.”

During the pandemic, YOKE moved its training from on-site to online, and the company now hosts more than 20 online training courses, which are available to customers and distributors globally in addition to physical training. By continuing to expand the use and understanding of this revolutionary safety technology, Hong says YOKE hopes to elevate industry standards in a way that improves workplace safety and efficiency.

“SupraTag allows us to see a glimmer of light in the safety lifting industry,” he says. “Using human-centric technology eliminates fear caused by unfamiliarity with the safe use of products and makes it possible to obtain product information no matter when, where, or in what language you operate. Most importantly, our tags and software will ensure that workers return to their families safely every day.”