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horworld Industries is calling for loading bay and warehouse managers

to view safety in the loading/unloading area not merely as a legal necessity but as an ‘added value’ proposition that can improve efficiency and generate a significant return on investment (ROI). Investment in key safety accessories can minimise the most common risks. “The vehicle loading and unloading area

is potentially one of the most hazardous areas in any company, warehouse or distribution centre yet this need not be the case,” says managing director John Meale. “As a member of both ALEM (Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers) and FEM (The European Materials Handling Federation) we are proud to work alongside our peers in providing best practice on how to minimise risks. Safety is a cornerstone of the FEM Vision & Strategy 2020, its manifesto for the future of European materials handling.” The FEM document Guidance on Safety On/Around a Vehicle Loading Area is a comprehensive guide to the most common hazards. Available online at under Free Technical Documents it is periodically updated as standards and

directives change and new technologies and products are launched. By following the guidance and installing appropriate solutions loading bay managers can fulfil several requirements: the legal and ethical ‘duty of care’ considerations an employer owes to its personnel; removing the costs associated with accidents in terms of damage and downtime and longer-term implications such as higher insurance premiums or legal action. Between these elements the ROI is considerable. Areas covered by the guidance include the use of dock levellers to access height variations and prevent horizontal gap between the loading dock and vehicle deck which can otherwise create a risk of personnel and/ or vehicles falling between the two. Similarly, the document suggests appropriate solutions to prevent the

Thorworld Industries is calling for loading bay and warehouse managers to view safety as an ‘added value’ proposition that can improve efficiency and generate a significant ROI

potential for loading apparatus to become separated from the vehicle due to creep. Wheel locks or chocks or complex interlock systems can quickly and cost-effectively provide a stable, fixed working environment. Dock seals or shelters can help to keep out adverse weather and/or maintain an appropriate ambient temperature during loading/ unloading. Dock bumpers can prevent sustained damage to both vehicles and the building infrastructure, avoiding hidden long-term safety risks. Investing in equipment will not in itself guarantee a safe working environment. Numerous standards and directives applicable to good practice in installation and operation must be adhered to and a vital aspect of health and safety is ensuring that employees receive appropriate training in their equipment. “We provide such training,” concludes

Meale. “I would always advocate that anybody in need of safety accessories should have a detailed conversation with a reputable and experienced provider on the merits of different solutions.”

Thorworld Industries T: 01246 260981

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