When it comes to warehouse safety, “common sense” is a subjective term that gets tagged onto several do’s and don’ts; unfortunately blurring the lines of what is safe and unsafe and causing many avoidable warehouse accidents and fatalities per year. In efforts to emphasize the importance of defining and adhering to warehouse safety measures among industry professionals, the team at SPAN collaborated with Face Middle East to host consultants, contractors, clients and members of the authority across multiple disciplines in the UAE for an informative Warehouse Safety Seminar.
The purpose of this seminar was to shed light on safety and raise awareness of risks associated with the negligence of proper implementation and enforcement of safety measures across the different areas of a warehouse; from the consideration of steel to the design of storage systems, storage/retrieval applications, loading docks, material handling equipment, facility and flooring and most importantly inspection and maintenance. The teams at SPAN and Face covered each area concisely for an incredibly well-executed event that yielded nothing but positive feedback across the board.
Walid Daniel, Managing Director of SPAN, opened with a warm welcome on the morning of March 7th, 2017 to the 100 professionals in attendance, and proceeded to share facts and figures for warehouse accidents and fatalities. He reiterated the importance of clearly defining the safety standards for handling any equipment or technology, as this could be the difference between finishing a task unharmed or injured, or worse, could be the fine line between life and death of an employee. As the video footage rolled of instances that exemplified these fine lines and put into strong visual perspective how crucial it is to give these safety measures clear definitions, the audience was able to truly absorb the main message as could be seen by their stirred reactions.
Thomas Hanks, General Manager of Face Middle East, touched on the importance of flooring, another aspect of safety that is commonly overlooked.
He stated, “Face Middle East were proud to participate in this event alongside SPAN. The subject of Safety concerns everybody within the industry and anything to raise the awareness of others can only be beneficial to everyone. The floor is essential for the safe and efficient operation of a warehouse facility and this was appreciated by the audience.” While Eelco Adama, Logistics QHSE Officer at Chalhoub Group Real FZE shared the company’s health and safety best practices and KPIs. They have established a thorough process to ensure the safest working environment for their people. Mr. Eelco stated “We have a Health & Management System as we want our people, our co-workers, to go home at the end of the day to see their families”.
Mr. G.K Singh, Manager Facility Permit and Construction Safety EHS at Trakhees, elaborated on the topic of safety within the warehouse but also touched on safety aspects outside of the four walls of a warehouse.
Mr. Daniel’s closing remarks emphasized the notion that we will always be asked to do more with less; and that now more than ever we need to collectively ramp up our efforts to foster safer working environments within each warehouse and strive to always maintain this attention through and through. He stated, “We began this initiative in order to send a very important message; that we are all stakeholders in this industry, and a collective heightened awareness to the gravity of safety standards could significantly reduce the number of accidents we see each year and help make our warehouses safer places to work”.
Similar events have been held in Lebanon and across the UAE with the same success, and SPAN tirelessly keeps up with their commitment to help improve warehouse safety by continuing to host informational seminars and by improving their solutions. An upcoming session will be held in Qatar in the month of May.