Monday, August 17, 2015

All Freight and Logistics Warehouses Produce Waste - But Are Your Staff Safe Unloading It?

No Longer Can an Employee Clamber Up to Load a Waste Skip
Shipping News Feature

UK – Any company which has a warehouse presence is likely to produce copious quantities of waste, and freight and logistics operations are certainly no exception. Despite the governments, and many companies, desire to engender a waste free society, there will always be the broken pallets and scrap packaging that form an everyday part of transport and distribution operations.

Many of the traditional solutions, the old oil drum converted as a makeshift incinerator for example, are now frowned upon, and often the only option is land fill via a 40 yard roll on roll off skip, a solution which harbours its own dangers, particularly when the end door assuming one is fitted, is closed, and the only method to finish an effective loading operation is via a fork lift truck.

Trying to take advantage of commercial waste incentive programmes can create conditions which endanger employees, according to forks and attachment specialists, Invicta which has developed a safer method to load the giant skips which can often be up to 36.5 metres in length and 2.5 metres high. Invicta has been involved in the manufacture and supply of tipping skips for over 20 years and has developed various options, including a unique ‘4 way entry’ base, bottom emptying skip, and was the first to design and manufacture an auto-tipping version.

Invicta's unique mechanism ‘unlocks’ the tipping action when the base is lowered to the edge of the receiving skip, with a secondary locking mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. A combination of gravity and truck movement returns the attachment to its original position. Traditionally the man clambering up on a loaded fork lift to help release the load meant operators were often routinely working at height in unsafe conditions, increasing the risk of falls and other injuries as Invicta managing director, Peter Sharpe, explains:

“Most skips carried by forklifts require a forward tipping action to unload, but the height and design of these super-sized skips often sees operators standing on mud guards or climbing the side of the yard skip to reach the release mechanism.

“We’ve designed the auto-tip mechanism to eliminate the need to get out of the cab. Operators have immediately seen its potential, allowing them to get on with their work and not exit the cab, which the safest place for them. The option is now a standard feature on our tipping skip range. Manual release mechanisms will always be required, but the option of the auto-tip function improves efficiency as well as adding safety.

“At its inception a decade ago, the auto-tipping mechanism was a specific model, and welded in place. Today, as manufacturing procedures have developed and customers have seen the value of the feature, we are able to bolt it on to our standard skip range. It means customers can still add it at a later date, even if they currently don’t have the need for the high level tipping function.”

If an accident occurs when a staff member is unloading into a large skip from a fork lift without proper procedure, as has unfortunately happened many times previously, the Health and Safety Executive will immediately demand a copy of the appropriate risk assessment, citing Section 3(1) of Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 6 (3) of Work at Height Regulations 2005, a document unlikely to appear as reasonable when alternative, safer methods were clearly available.