Workplace Transport from Huntingdon, UK
The third winner of the first ever Aliaxis Global Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Awards was the Workplace Transport Initiative from Aliaxis Huntingdon, UK. This initiative strives to make the workplace a much safer place by minimising interaction between employees and machines.
“One of our most significant risks arises from onsite vehicles, like forklifts and delivery trucks”, Gillian Vellam explains. She is the Health, Safety and Training Manager at Aliaxis Huntingdon, UK. “Vehicles and pedestrians don’t mix well together. That’s why we decided to launch initiatives to minimise the interaction between vehicles and pedestrians.”
The site didn’t treat this lightly. From the carpark to the offices, from production to the yard: everything got a make-over. Walkways and crossing points are marked to guide pedestrians safely through the site, many of which now have physical barriers. In addition, many work areas are now either ‘pedestrian-free’ or “vehicle free”.
At the same time, pedestrians’ awareness of vehicle risks is being raised, for example with prominent signs to look both ways before crossing.
Slow down forklifts
Driver safety is also a point of attention, with zones being created to ensure drivers have a safe place to stay during loading. Additionally, pedestrians who need to enter yard areas wear a special arm band that alerts them and forklift operators if they get too close to each other.
Even the forklifts are monitored. The new generation of forklifts at the Huntingdon site are automatically slowed to 5 kilometres per hour when entering a building.
Similar initiatives have been implemented at the warehouse in Aldridge and stockyard in Warboys.
Journey to Go For Zero
Kevin Surridge, Manufacturing Director at Aliaxis Huntingdon: “What’s been done is very positive, but it’s important we don’t become complacent. Everybody on site has a role to play and we encourage a culture where people are free to challenge the status quo. This is an important step in our journey to go for zero.”
The HSE Awards is an internal competition strives to recognise and encourage the proactive efforts of individual businesses to improve Health & Safety within Aliaxis. Howard Oakes, Global Head of HSE: “We can learn so much from each other, so we are always looking for ways to encourage and facilitate good practice sharing across the Group. The Global HSE Awards are a great tool to support this goal.”