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Top storage safety lessons

05 October 2016

Presentations from ASDA, John Lewis, Weetabix and Travis Perkins are among the highlights at a key upcoming storage safety conference.

Want to learn how some of the UK’s biggest brands manage key safety issues? Then join SEMA’s annual conference and exhibition Safety in the Storage Industry: Meeting Customers’ Expectations on November 3rd at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

In-house professionals from ASDA, John Lewis, Weetabix, Travis Perkins and, Matthew Clark will share through their own unique case study material advances that their businesses have made in continually improving safety conditions for their workforces. 

Neil Sheehan, Senior Safety, Health and Environmental Manager, (Construction) ASDA Stores. says: “The 2015 revised CDM regulations have had a massive impact on the retail sector and supply chain partners. Neil will talk about how the business has applied the revised CDM15 Regulations and give an honest answer on what worked well and what didn’t. The passion behind the ASDA culture is to make sure that all contractors, colleagues and customers go home in the same condition they came to work.

John Lewis operates from four regional and seven national distribution centres. Warehouse Safety Co-ordinator, Andrew Noble needs no reminder that the pace in retailing and the need for flexible storage grow almost daily. However well designed and maintained your installation is, you still need to factor out human error. Talking through some examples, Andrew says that it’s all about training and choosing the best person for the task.

Weetabix has around 1200 people working at its biscuit, cereal bar and wheat cleaning operations. It has successfully partnered with trade unions in a programme called Peer To Peer to train teams of up to 60. Karen Wheeler, their health and safety advisor compares corporate culture to an onion skin – multi-layered and tearful. So just how does a famous brand like Weetabix implement a behavioural safety programme? With real life examples, she will talk about how “ownership” drives change in behaviour and how proactive union engagement has had a strong influence in the route to success.

How does Travis Perkins manage its racking inspection schedule and subsequent maintenance programme across a constantly evolving and large multi-branded estate? Helen Ballard, Group Racking Maintenance Manager, Travis Perkins will explain. 

Wine, beer and spirits distributor, Matthew Clark has implemented a single system of compliance and regulation across its 12 UK sites by engaging with the government’s Regulatory Delivery directorate. Their Risk and Compliance Manager, Simon Ambridge and Ellie Griffiths, Primary Authority Manager at Eastleigh Borough Council describe how these protocols (which cannot be overruled by any individual EHO) embrace SEMA codes and guidelines and help to control incidents while meeting statutory requirements.

Providing definitive guidance on how to apply PUWER to storage and transportation, Nina Day, Senior Engineer, Health and Safety Laboratory will demonstrate how improved efficiency, less disruption and fewer costs in terms of personal injury, product and equipment damage is beneficial.

Terry Mallard, Health and Safety Inspector for Birmingham City Council will outline the differences between HSE and local authority scope of operations. With reference to how HSE codes, statistics and incidents underpin their work, he will explain how RIDDOR complaints are reacted to and the procedure whereby the duty holder could influence an outcome. In an anonymous case study involving multiple duty holders, Terry will reveal how a contractor was prosecuted and the on-site supervisor received a simple caution.

Steve Cowen chair of SEMA’s Technical Committee will briefly review the recently updated HSE document, HSG246 on the safe storage of metal, long products and heavy goods with a focus on cantilever racking and the variety of materials stored.

Phil Ganner of SpanSet will talk about how the very latest PPE technology is helping improve safety on site by working closely with SEMA groups and its SEIRS installers.

SEMA’s Dagan Hyde, shows how continual investment in safety does deliver on ROI. He says: “A well-designed racking system built to SEMA Codes of Practice offers longevity so you can access products at the right time, goods remain merchandisable and staff can work in a safe environment.”