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Innovative Scheme Allows Co-Op Food To Steer Clear Of Driver Shortage
The Co-operative Food has geared up to steer clear of a potential national shortage of van and lorry drivers by announcing an innovative training programme for more than 100 warehouse colleagues.
Currently across the UK there is just one driver joining the industry for every six that leave but The Co-operative plans to put the brakes on this trend by training depot staff, without any previous experience. Warehouse to Wheels is a comprehensive eight week programme, costing nearly £2,000 per employee, which involves warehouse workers at eight Co-operative Food depots training to become light goods vehicle (LGV) drivers.
Once they have gained their LGV Class 2 Licence, staff will have a choice of either becoming a full time driver or joining a pool whereby they remain a warehouse operative but available to drive at times of peak need.
Chris Whitfield, Retail and Logistics Director at the Co-operative Food said: “Our Warehouse to Wheels programme is a great example of how we are committed to developing the talent we already have and it will help us counter a potential shortage of drivers by steadily increasing our LGV pool.
“It will enable those who want to become full time drivers while others can continue to work in the warehouse with the option of topping up their pay by working certain shifts as a driver.”
Frontline Packaging impresses Food Service Customer with Atlanta Synthesi Pallet Wrapper
A top quality manufacturer of own label breadings, coatings, marinades and powder sauces for the fast food service industry has recently placed an order for its first turntable pallet stretch wrapper from Frontline Packaging. It was a welcome development for the customer as they were wrapping pallets by hand. As production capacity increased it needed to speed up its pallet wrapping operation and make it more efficient and effective.
Having identified the need to automate its pallet wrapping operation, the customer approached Frontline Packaging for some help choosing the right machine.
"Frontline were very helpful and came along to survey the factory and help us work out what we would need to fit in to the current operation," he explained.
"They showed us the Atlanta Synthesi machine which seemed ideal, and we kept it on loan for a week to make sure we were happy with it."
The customer needed a machine that was compact, easy to install and simple to operate in limited space in the factory. The Synthesi worked really well during the loan period and the customer loved it.
"The Synthesi is perfect for those customers taking a first step in to automating their pallet wrapping," says Tony Hacker, MD of Frontline Packaging.
"It's incredibly well-designed and robust and very straightforward to use. It's also extremely good value for money and was the perfect solution for this customer to speed up its pallet wrapping operation."
The customer quickly ordered the machine and it has been working non-stop ever since.
Cambridgeshire-based G’s Fresh Beetroot has scooped the prestigious Safe Site Award in the FLTA Annual Awards for Excellence.
Recognising the company’s exemplary attitude to fork lift safety, the honour was awarded by the Fork Lift Truck Association – Europe’s leading authority on the subject.
This year’s Safe Site Award was so hotly contested that the FLTA took the unprecedented step of awarding ‘highly commended’ status to each of the other eight finalists, but it was G’s Beetroot that impressed the judges most of all.
A whole range of safety improvements have been made at G’s, with a particular focus on protecting pedestrians from collision with lift trucks. They include traffic light systems and flashing beacons to warn of truck movements, and installation of blue spotlights on the trucks to make them more visible. A portable sign has been devised which can be placed at the end of an aisle to warn fork lift drivers that staff are working in it. The drivers are also alerted when a visiting vehicle arrives, via a sign-in touchscreen, and they are then able to arrange and supervise its access.
Significant investment in the training and testing of lift truck drivers and their supervisors ensures that they operate to the highest safety standards. As part of a behavioural safety programme they are required to carry out and document ‘safety conversations’, and there are quarterly rewards for those recording the most conversations and taking the best corrective action. A web-based health and safety management system has been introduced, in which incidents can be quickly reported, along with the necessary details, via smartphones and tablets.
As winner of the Safe Site Award, sponsored by Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK, G’s was presented with the coveted ‘Archie’ statuette at a sell-out FLTA Awards event in February, held at The International Centre in Telford.
To take the title, G’s beat off stiff competition from Babcock International, Dailycer UK, Heineken Hereford, Metsä Wood UK, NHS National Services Scotland, Nestlé UK, Preston Technical and Tulip. Congratulating the winner, FLTA Chief Executive Peter Harvey said: “In the Safe Site section of our Awards we recognise teams who have looked carefully at their site and the way in which fork lift trucks are used on it, identified any weaknesses, put them right and seen improvements in safety as a result. Other companies can learn a lot from the fine example set by G’s.”