Welcome to the October 15th Warehouse & Logistics News. The emphasis in this edition is firmly on safety in the warehouse, with our SEMA Safety Conference Preview. Despite the pressures on warehouse operators to maximise profitability, one compelling reason for not stinting on warehouse equipment and staff training is the safety risks and the possible consequential losses and longterm implications for the future of the business after an accident. Safety is the focal point of the SEMA Annual Safety Conference and Exhibition, taking place on Thursday 2nd November at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull. Put it in your diary now.

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Speakers from SEMA, the HSE and end users including Coca Cola, ACCO and Skymark Packaging will cover current statutory and generic product related topics illustrated by case study material on the theme “Safety in the Storage Industry: Aiming High,” chaired by SEMA President, Jaap Vos. Warehouse & Logistics News is once again the official media partner to the Conference. If you’re going to the event, we’ll see you there.

Speaking of aiming high, on our front page Sheffield based DP Doors and Shutters, who are currently celebrating their twentieth anniversary, have recently opened a brand new in-house powder coating plant. DP supplies, installs and maintains industrial doors, shutters and grilles for a variety of customers across the UK. Founded in 1997 with just two people on the payroll, the firm now has 42 employees and a much larger, 12,500 sq ft. facility, which is expected to drive further growth.

In our Packaging feature the packaging industry’s biggest challenge is to bring out new products that lessen the environmental impact. We have advice from Antalis on how to reduce Packaging Waste Levy payments and news about innovative new packaging machinery from Logopak and Automated Packaging Systems and Wessex Packaging being appointed UK distributor for US-based Sharp Packaging.

Also in this issue we have our Lighting feature, with its key message, don’t cut corners. UK warehousing companies and others are often tempted by the lower prices asked for industrial warehouse lighting systems imported from outside the EU, particularly China. Changing to quality LED from fluorescent involves a big outlay but there is Government help available from tax breaks and interest-free loans for SMEs, plus various supplier rental schemes.

Finally, the way industry uses timber pallets could be transformed by UPALL, an exciting new venture from timber company James Jones & Sons involving fitting robust protectors on wooden pallets, which treble their lifespan. We have the launch story in our news pages and look forward to bringing you more details in forthcoming issues.