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ROCOL Site Safety Systems is a leading provider of premier quality line marking solutions for industry to make workplaces and public areas safe, embracing paint, anti slip and traffic management. Formed in 1878 and based in Leeds, ROCOL are now part of the multi-billion pound ITW Corporation. ROCOL’s ISO 21469 certification means they are food safe and can supply the food and clean industries with full confidence, and customers can always be sure of first class technical support from ROCOL’s in-house team of chemists and engineers. ROCOL’s product portfolio includes EASYLINE, the car park paint kit and edge line marking applicator, fusion spot marketing paint, ACME anti-slip panels and decking, Safe Step anti-slip coatings and Pacers speed bumps.

ROCOL Site Safety Systems has a long history of innovations. Its major development in the past 12 months is a range of water-based products. Olivier d’Anterroches, Business Unit Manager, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

Warehouse & Logistics News – Olivier, how do you define your business: are you paint manufacturers, line marking equipment manufacturers and suppliers, line marking contractors or all of these?

First and foremost, ROCOL is a manufacturing company. We manufacture a range of premium products, including line marking applicators and paint, which are renowned throughout international industry. EASYLINE is a premium range of line marking products and one of its key selling points is simplicity. There is no need to wait for a contractor to come on site to mark your lines, because any employee can do it with EASYLINE!

WLN – Can you talk us through how you are organised as a company to supply the line marking needs of UK industry? Do you cover the whole of the UK?

ROCOL manufactures in Leeds, UK and our key distribution partners cover the UK and much of the world, allowing easy purchase of our products. The list includes BRAMMER, Buck & Hickman, Cromwell Tools, Eriks, Greenham, Key Industrial, Safety Shop and many more across the UK and the world – for full details, please see our distributor section on www.rocol.com. ROCOL’s experts cover the UK; they can advise you on line marking and other site safety solutions. To get in touch with our experts, please contact ROCOL customer services and explain your requirements (01132 32 2700).

WLN – Which industry sectors are the target market for your products and services?

ROCOL Site Safety products are targeted towards a number of different industries including logistics, manufacturing, food processing, education, construction, highway maintenance and many more. All work places have hazards, and it is impossible to eliminate all possible causes of injury. However, reducing risk is possible by investing in quality safety products. Within logistics for example, there is a substantial risk of pedestrians being hit by moving vehicles such as fork lift trucks. A very simple way of reducing this risk is by segregating pedestrians from heavier traffic using line marking. EASYLINE can help employers meet their legal duties for safety in this field.

WLN – How long has ROCOL Site Safety as it is now been set up?

The history of ROCOL is an interesting one, which dates back to 1878; the founder of ROCOL developed a non-corrosive industrial lubricant and began manufacturing it in London. Since the beginning, ROCOL has built a strong reputation for manufacturing premium quality chemical products. Over the course of the next century, ROCOL developed a huge and diverse portfolio of products, in addition to moving all manufacturing to Leeds.

WLN – How long have you been supplying line marking paint?

Line marking paint manufacturing has been a part of ROCOL’s business now for over 30 years, and in that time many developments have seen EASYLINE become the paint of choice for quality line marking. ROCOL’s team of experienced paint chemists ensure that only the most technically advanced ingredients are used in the EASYLINE paint formulation. Furthermore, every batch of paint is quality checked in order to ensure compliance to our exacting standards. EASYLINE EDGE is sold across the world and therefore needs to work in all conditions, hot, cold or humid. EASYLINE gives superb results in all of these situations and has led to the name being recognised in numerous countries.

WLN – Who are the ITW Group? What else do they do?

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) Corporation is a growing collection of almost 1,000 engineering product manufacturers. The business units within ITW manufacture components, fasteners, industrial packaging, power systems, polymers, fluids and much more. The high level of diversification within ITW has ensured that it has thrived during the economic downturn, producing a turnover close to $18 billion during 2011. The success of ITW and ROCOL is built on both the performance of our products and the trust of our stakeholders. To help us develop better products and services, we welcome feedback and questions from our valued customers. If you would like to contact us, please see our contact details at the end of this article.

WLN – In non-technical terms, how are EASYLINE EDGE aerosol line marking paints different from household paints?

EASYLINE is part of a system: the paint is one component, the applicator another. The paint is designed to work specifically with the EASYLINE EDGE applicator and is formulated in such a way that it creates high definition line edges every time it is used. The paint contains a traffic grade epoxy, which gives it high physical wear and chemical resistance. This is especially important for a paint which is placed on the floor where abrasion and spills are all too common. Another key feature is that the paint is designed to be applied on multiple different surface types. A standard household paint is usually specified for a single surface.

WLN – Why are line markings so important in industrial operations?

There are two main reasons, firstly Health & Safety. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.” In addition, it expands on this to also include the employer’s duty of care for anyone on site. As an example, during June 2010 a worker in a Cardiff-based cargo company was seriously injured by a reversing forklift truck. Subsequent investigation into the incident by the HSE found there were insufficient procedures in place to safely segregate pedestrians from traffic. The HSE recommends some simple steps to prevent accidents of this nature: plan safe traffic routes, preferably a one-way system with pedestrian crossing points; keep vehicles and pedestrians apart where possible, including both inside and outside of buildings; provide separate doors for pedestrians and vehicles; ensure that speed limits are indicated and enforced; reduce or eliminate the need to reverse vehicles. If reversing is necessary, mark the area as a reversing zone. Line marking is a simple and effective way of helping to comply with these recommendations.

The second reason why line marking is so important is that it can facilitate improvements to productivity and efficiency. 5S and Total Productive Maintenance are just two methods that modern workplaces are using to enhance performance within the workplace. Both methods introduce storage disciplines, ensuring that everything has a designated area. Line marking is the ideal system to complete this.

WLN – How does this all-embracing regulation translate into the use of line markings signage in the workplace?

Before you apply line markings, first you need to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees by establishing the safest routes around your working areas. Our recommendation is that every workplace should be organised so that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely at all times. Workplace traffic routes should be suitable for the people and vehicles using them, and where vehicles and pedestrians use the same traffic route, ideally there should be adequate separation between them. You can achieve separation by keeping pedestrians and vehicles well clear of one another, ideally using completely different routes. If routes must be close to each other, physical barriers to prevent pedestrians or vehicles straying into each other’s areas should be put in place where this is reasonably practicable.

WLN – What are the standard reference guides on this subject?

There are three HSE publications we refer people to, the HSE Workplace Transport Checklist and the HSE leaflet Warehousing and Storage – keep it safe (INDG412) and Workplace Transport Safety (INDG 199), all available online as PDFs from http://www.hse.gov.uk/

WLN – How does line marking and signage help with productivity and efficiency?

The 5S workplace organisation method, which is widely adopted in the warehouse and logistics industry, focuses on sorting, sifting, sweeping, standardising and sustaining the practice. Line marking plays a crucial role in the second step of 5S ensuring that the objective of “a place for everything and everything in its place” can be completed. The results of implementing such processes are that there is no time wasted searching for items. This is all part of Lean thinking, and we refer people to the 5S handbook for rules and guidelines.

WLN – You’ve clearly thought all this through. Do you get involved in creating workplace layouts?

Usually our end-users have a good idea of the line marking that they require, but our experts are always on hand to offer advice if needed.

WLN – Generally, what demarcations should be completed in and around a warehouse?

The list includes walkways to segment pedestrians from other traffic; reversing zones for FLTs and lorries; automatic doors marked with yellow and black tiger stripes; quarantine zones; designated areas for pallets, for parking fork lift trucks and for other equipment to be stored under 5S principles; zebra crossings and so on; warnings, for example for physical hazards; highlighting safety equipment such as fire extinguishers; car parking; and no parking areas.

WLN – How can lines be marked?

There are three main methods, masking the lines and hand painting, outsourcing line marking to contractors, and using a line marking applicator.

WLN – Can you talk us through those different methods?

Masking the lines and hand painting is a very time-consuming process for those involved. Due to the length of time it takes to complete the process, it leaves the affected area out of action for extended periods. The durability of the paint tends to be low and may require replacing after minimal use. Outsourcing line marking to contractors is a very expensive process with expected good results, however as with all out-sourced work, getting an immediate result is not usually possible. Furthermore, outsourcing line marking is not suitable for small jobs which could be taken care of quickly and cost effectively by on-site staff. Using a line marking applicator is a quick, flexible and cost effective method of line marking which can be completed by any member of staff. The paint comes in an aerosol spray form and is applied using an applicator. Applicators represent a one-off-cost as they can be used multiple times. Paint and applicators come in a standard form but have vast differences in quality and performance. Please also see our video which demonstrates the usage of the EASYLINE EDGE applicator on www.rocol.com/media

WLN – What are the main features of an aerosol paint, which should be considered when purchasing?

You need to ask your supplier and consider the following questions: How durable is it – how long does it last? How quickly does it dry – how much downtime will the marked area have while the paint dries? What are the environmental implications – What Corporate Social Responsibilities should be considered? What are the health implications – how much personal protective equipment (PPE) is required to apply the paint? Whose health may it affect?

WLN – What are the main features of a line marking applicator that should be considered when purchasing?

Again, there are a number of questions you need to be able to answer. Can it create different line widths? Not all lines need to be the same width, depending on the quality of the applicator different widths may or may not be possible. What technology ensures high definition edges? Again, dependent on the quality of the applicator, there may or may not be technology present to ensure the quality of the finish. This leaves great differences in the quality of the lines. Where efforts have been made to develop technology which enhances lines, an impressive and high definition edge is apparent. This not only looks professional but also adds to the longevity of the line. Is it simple to use and assemble? Some applicators are simple to set up and require no extra tools. This enhances the user experience and prevents the “where did I leave my quarter inch spanner?” situation, which can be all too familiar. How durable is it? Some applicators are built only to last one job; others are guaranteed to last many years. The level of engineering which goes in to producing the best applicators is what separates the best from the worst. Can the applicator be adjusted to mark lines which are close to walls and racking? This is similar to vacuuming near walls – you can never get close enough! The better quality applicators have been produced in a way which allows you to get as close to walls and racking as physically possible. Are you looking for both Indoor and outdoor use? If you are line marking your warehouse, you may also want to mark the yard and the car park too!

WLN – Do you supply applicators as well as paint?

Definitely! We produce the EASYLINE EDGE Applicator and a hand held applicator. The hand held applicator is useful for stencilling whilst the EASYLINE EDGE applicator is for your high quality line marking.

WLN – Other than premium quality products, what else can customers expect from ROCOL?

Being a UK-based manufacturing company, you are guaranteed exceptional quality and service levels at every step of your purchase. We offer assistance from our site safety experts, great customer service and the peace of mind that we have been operating over a century. If you have a question or an issue we will solve it. Furthermore, we do not rely on what we already have, innovation has been key to our success for many years – dedicated chemists work to bring the highest quality, most innovative and safest products to you.

WLN – What is the future of Line Marking?

Firstly, water enhanced paints technology; in 2004, the EU published “The Paints Directive” which serves to limit the volumes of organic solvents in decorative paints. Although our Line Marking Paints are not classed as a “decorative paint”, EASYLINE EDGE AQUA has been developed to give our customers the option of using a line marking paint with Water Enhanced Technology. Secondly, as a peek into our thought process, we may also be considering ways to further improve the durability of our paint range – but that is as much as we are willing to give away at the moment. There is also one more project which is ongoing, but it is very much in its infancy and I would not like to curse its progress. That is staying under the radar for now – sorry!

ROCOL Site Safety Systems

Tel: 0113 232 2800

www.rocol.com

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