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img_7667ASG Services Ltd was approached by Alliance Healthcare (Distribution) Ltd (a member of Alliance Boots) to provide advice and a solution for warehouse safety at its new distribution centre in Exeter.

Alliance Healthcare is a leading distributor and wholesaler of pharmaceutical, medical and health and beauty products in the UK. Alliance Healthcare offers a high level of service, with twice daily delivery to pharmacies, hospitals and dispensing doctors across the UK.

The distribution centre is 56,000 sq ft and is used to distribute medicines and over the counter products to retail and hospital pharmacies and dispensing doctors.

ASG Services was chosen by Alliance Healthcare due to its unique ability to offer a complete safety solution encompassing marking pedestrian walkways, handrail/barriers and signage as well as many other safety products.

ASG Services refer customers to the HSE’s guide HSG76 “Warehousing & Storage – A guide to Health & Safety (Page 47 Para 405) – which states:

img_7653“The mixture of industrial trucks and pedestrians is a recipe for potential accidents, so it is imperative that you take steps to minimise the associated risks.

• Separate pedestrian activities from areas where trucks are operating where reasonably practicable. This is particularly important in retail warehouses where the public may be present;

• Define, designate and clearly mark pedestrian routes and crossing places;

• Provide sufficient clear and unambiguous warning signs at strategic locations to inform people that trucks operate in the premises or area;

• Provide suitable and sufficient notices at strategic locations and instruct truck operators to sound the horn.

img_7672As an automated sortation system had been installed together with very narrow aisle pallet racking and combined with a large number of personnel within the same area it was imperative to ensure health and safety was considered seriously.

In consultation with the Alliance Healthcare team ASG proposed a number of safety features.

All the pallet racking was provided with end of rack protection while a number of pedestrian walkways were also given protection using a combination of barrier and hand rail with an additional 100mm x 75 mm angle fixed to the floor to prevent the forks of any fork lift trucks causing damage or injury.

Pedestrian routes through busy areas were marked with painted lines and floor signs were applied to make all personnel aware of the danger of fork lift trucks. A similar sign was also used to bring awareness of pedestrians to the fork lift trucks operators.

In addition to the floor signs Health & Safety signage was a key requirement to completing this project in time. Fire exit directional signs were also installed around the building as well as ASG’s unique anti slip self adhesive fire exit hatch.

Retractable barriers were used at the entrance to rack aisles to be used to signal to fork lift trucks that personnel were working there. In addition magnetic belt barriers were installed to prevent personnel from walking into fork lift aisles when trucks were operating. These were made with magnetic ends to ensure that in the case of emergency access they could be released easily.

At the end of racks work stations were positioned. These were protected by high level barriers while the battery charging area wall was protected by low level barriers. All these barriers had 100mm x75mm angle fixed to the floor to prevent further damage by forks.

img_7666The Installation was carried out by ASG Services following submission of complete risk assessment and method statements and working with the client on site inductions and work permits. A drawing was provided to show the safety features to be installed.

Jeremy Humpage – Project Manager for Alliance Healthcare commented: “The safety of our people is of paramount importance to us as a company and the advice and products that ASG Services provided helped us to deliver the project, not only on time but to a high standard”

To find out more information visit ASG Services’ website at www.warehousesafety.co.uk or call their office on 01925 710923

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