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Views & Opinion

The Importance of youth engagement in logistics Comment by Steve Wilkins, Steve Wilkins, HR Manager, FedEx Express

What does your dream job look like? Is it defined by security, consistency and a clear pathway to success, or is it entrepreneurship, variety and adventure that motivate you? There are few industries around which offer roles on both sides of the spectrum, but logistics is certainly striving to be recognised as one of them – particularly among the youth of today. At FedEx, the range of disciplines is broad. But

it’s not just about shouting about the wealth of career opportunities in our industry, it is also important to explore other ways we can support our country’s young people. Educating our youth about logistics will benefit them in any line of work and helps promote our industry across all sectors. One way that FedEx is helping young people to

gain this greater level of understanding is by emphasising its significance early on in their career development. In line with this educational process, FedEx sponsors the Access Award category at the Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Awards, encouraging

businesses to communicate with young people. Whether to develop individual careers or for future business owners and leaders, this cooperation helps illustrate the impact having a basic understanding of transportation networks can have on entrepreneurial business growth and prospects. The Access Award is presented to the student

company who best demonstrates an understanding of international trade and devises a product or service that can succeed globally. Run by Junior Achievement Worldwide, the awards bring together Europe's brightest and best student entrepreneurs to recognise their incomparable enthusiasm for business. Although this scheme recognises business talent in the UK, it is an extremely worthwhile way of meeting students and helping to promote, not only the value a logistics provider can bring to a company but also communicate to young people the innovation and ever-evolving job prospects available in the industry. The 2014 winner was the UK-based ACE,

which offers adhesive gel packs that offer easy storage solutions. Despite the relatively young age of the team, they have already made sales in countries as far away as Australia, Malaysia and Dubai and have plans to extend their market further in the near future. ACE serves as a shining example of what the next generation is able to achieve, and the knowledge gained during the competition gives them solid ground to pursue their career options wisely. Enterprise programmes such as JA-YE are just

one of the ways logistics providers can attract the interest of young people and promote the exciting prospects of our sector’s work if a basic understanding is gained. Whether it's apprenticeships, community events or working closely with local educational establishments, businesses should be looking to make the most of the often untapped potential that is 16-25 year olds, which also attracts our future entrepreneurs and leaders. Engaging, educating and developing youth is fundamental to keeping ours an exciting and forward-thinking industry.

Getting active about passive fire protection in schools and colleges

Comment by Neil Ashdown, general manager of the Fire Door Inspection Scheme

It is vital that fire doors are installed and maintained as fit for purpose and here we are going to look at the legal obligations that both education property managers and installation and maintenance contractors are under as well as how to make sure fire doors are correctly maintained while avoiding costly mistakes and unnecessary expense.

Fire Doors and the law Any person, company or organisation that owns, manages or operates buildings must comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This means that the ‘Responsible Person’ must ensure that a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment has been carried out and that this includes fire doors and escape doors.

What, why and how Fire doors are an essential part of a building’s passive fire safety strategy. In a fire they provide compartmentation to prevent fire and smoke spread assisting in safe evacuation and providing protection to the rest of the building. Essentially, they help to keep the fire in the part of the building where it started and help check development of the fire. The important issue here is to understand how

specification, installation and any alterations such as glazing may impact on the doors’ fire performance. Let’s start with procurement. The fire door manufacturer will have had the fire

door performance tested at a laboratory together with suitable door hardware, glazing and seals and an assessment will have been made providing details about the type of configuration for which the door may be used and the type of door hardware (locks, latches, hinges and door closers etc.) that may be fitted. These days most fire doors and hardware

components will have actual fire test evidence and also belong to certification schemes so the supplier will be able to provide the certificates, instructions and assurances you need. Take time to study these and you will see that there are limitations to modifications that may be made. Using this information will enable you to oversee correct installation and to provide the necessary information required for the operation and maintenance manuals.

Existing doors In the majority of cases you will be dealing with existing doors rather than new and it will be necessary to inspect and maintain them to ensure they are fit for purpose. This is where it is important that the maintenance team or the contractor has the necessary competence. With existing doors there may be no product certification and maintenance instructions so how can you be sure the repair work you do is correct and that the doors are fit for purpose? The answer is to make sure that the work is carried out or overseen by qualified people who


have fire door qualifications and credentials. Qualified fire door inspectors, repairers and maintainers will be aware of the fire door standards as well as publications and best practice guidelines. Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) Certificated

Fire Door Inspectors are reporting that they still see recently installed fire doors that are not compliant with these standards and regulations and the infographic shown here outlines the most common problems they have spotted. Sometimes it’s not possible to repair a fire

door because damage to its integrity is so severe or the fire performance certification may limit scope for repairs and alterations. The door’s fire performance data sheet must be consulted before attempting repairs otherwise this certification may be void. Fire safety legislation makes it clear that fire

doors should be installed and maintained as fit for purpose so it’s an area where you cannot afford to take chances. Only by appointing competent people, whether they are in-house maintenance staff or outside contractors, can you be sure that any inspection, repair and maintenance works are carried out correctly and legally.

For more information on complying with fire safety legislation please see:

April 2015

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