Safety barrier specialists A-Safe is working alongside leading international food and drink manufacturing companies to provide first class hygienic safety systems helping to reduce workplace accidents and protect valuable assets in factory environments.

Internationally renowned companies such as Cadbury, Haribo, Coca-Cola and Fox’s Biscuits operate food manufacturing plants with high-traffic despatch centres and have seen first-hand the benefits of the polymer-based safety barrier systems over and above steel equivalents by providing the strength and durability of steel, with the flexibility and reduced maintenance of plastic. The big plus for the food industry is that A-Safe barriers have passed stringent food hygiene tests because they are made from extruded polymers that are inert, resistant to both chemicals and, of particular interest to the food industry, harmful bacteria.

John Young, Safety Officer for Cadburys, on a follow up to their recently fitted barrier use said: “I’m very pleased with the barriers and know of no issues reported. They [barriers] have been hit by vehicles a couple of times but can report that they have done their job very well. If asked, I would use A-Safe barriers again”.

John went on to talk about the future and further commented: “We are looking at a new project to install new lines and would be pleased to specify A-safe barriers for segregation purposes”

The A-Safe Safe Factory Food Processing Environment encompasses a whole range of products and key safety solutions to maintain the health and safety of employees in the workplace. Because A-Safe products are polymer based, they are far more flexible and durable than conventional stainless steel barriers commonly used within the industry. However, critical for the food industry, is A-Safe’s Hygiene Package. This is a specially developed hygiene system of seals on joints to prevent cross-contamination of dust particles and dirt, critical to the well being of both staff and essential company reputation. Conventional wisdom would regard stainless steel as the specialist material of choice within the food manufacturing industry. However, A-Safe’s innovative safety systems can do all that stainless steel can, but at 3-4 times less capital cost. And there’s more: hit them with a vehicle and inherent strength and structural memory allow them to buckle on impact, dissipating impact forces and then springing back to the original state.

A report from the HSE shows that in the ten year period April 2000 to March 2010 almost 77,000 workers in the food and drink industries suffered an injury reportable to HSE and there were 36 fatal injuries (excluding contractors). In 2009/10 over 5000 injuries were reported (4185 ‘over-3-day absence’ injuries plus 856 ‘major’ injuries) representing a quarter (26%) of all manufacturing injuries. However injury rates vary widely between the 30 or so different food and drink industries, with some being above the average for all manufacturing industries and some below.

A-Safe can provide the perfect safety solutions for the food industry in segregating pedestrians, traffic and combined traffic and pedestrians. The product range is comprehensive enough to cover all working environments from food factories to airports and designed to suit individual situations as well as being flexible in installation for movement and relocation from area to area.

Steve Jukes, Senior Maintenance Manager for Haribo in Pontefract on having fitted handrails for pedestrians and barriers to protect walls, as well as some racking protection, all fitted by in-house engineers said: “they like the hygiene aspects of the barriers as well as its strength and good looks. The metal barriers currently in use in the despatch areas have nooks and crannies which could harbour dirt”

The injury rate in the food and drink industries is among the highest in manufacturing according to a report by HSE, which also went on to suggest that the cost of accidents could represent:

• as much as 37% of profit;

• 5% of operating costs;

• 36 times the insured costs.

The true cost of accidents and ill health can far outweigh the costs of prevention.

John Steele, Safety Manager for Coca Cola at the manufacturing plant in Wakefield said: “The A-Safe barriers give the site a more professional aesthetically pleasing look to pedestrian and traffic safety. Significantly the installation has also supported a change in behaviour from our FLT drivers in that they are driving more carefully and are more aware of the designated routes. Cleaning and maintenance is also greatly improved.”

A-Safe barriers feature a resilient, solid yellow and black colour scheme as standard, which enable both pedestrians and drivers alike to see at a glance where they should or should not be. No painting is required with minimal maintenance costs and with the hygiene package fitted, offer optimum protection within the food industries’ factory environment. A-Safe barriers are a viable alternative to more expensive stainless steel.

Rick Lloyd, Chief Engineer for Fox’s Biscuits, Uttoxeter said: “A-Safe barriers are excellent; they do what it says on the tin. The product is ascetically pleasing in both colour and construction, reasonably priced and more cost effective than metal barriers. A-Safe’s barriers are flexible and can be modified and moved round the factory to fit any area easily. The fitters were excellent, accommodating and followed the site contractor rules precisely. I haven’t a bad word to say for the staff or the product.”

In terms of being very cost effective, 500m of A-Safe Low Level traffic Barrier can reduce annual maintenance costs by up to £39,500 when compared to 500m of single rail box beam steel barrier. This is because there is significant less floor damage after impact or none at all. Barriers spring back into shape and, unlike steel, is less likely to be replaced. Just think how much more expensive it is to maintain stainless steel in comparison to ordinary steel, let alone the highly competitive A-Safe products which sustain minimal ongoing maintenance costs.

A-Safe provides far more than just a comprehensive range of safety products for installations in food and drink manufacturing environments. They also offer a full consultation service, ensuring that that the right product is assigned to the right application. This is complemented by a full installation and maintenance package as well as a leasing option, if required, to fit your financial solutions.

“Fit to eat your dinner off”

A-Safe (UK) Ltd

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