Keep workers safe in cold storage
03 February 2020
A NEW guide has been published to help cold chain businesses keep on top of the specific health and safety challenges posed to employees operating in a cold environment.
The Cold Chain Federation’s Keeping People Safe in a Cold Store provides a one-stop-shop overview of the major risks in a typical cold storage warehouse, bringing previously disparate industry advice into one place for the first time.
Cold Chain Federation’s chief executive Shane Brennan says, “Cold facilities are an inherently high-risk environment with unique challenges to be factored into health and safety planning and management.
“As the first health and safety guide of its kind specifically aimed at cold stores, this resource will save businesses time and help them with health and safety compliance in an efficient and structured way. Its publication also opens a new channel for the Cold Chain Federation to respond to specific compliance queries on behalf of our members. Keeping people safe is not just a moral responsibility, it’s good for business.”
HSE statistics show that 147 workers were killed, and a further 581,000 reported injured in workplace accidents in 2018/19. Fines totalling £54.5m from prosecutions were issued as a result of investigations into incidents over the same period.
Shane Brennan adds, “Ice build-up, freezing surfaces, condensation, the unsafe use of refrigerants and the impacts of exposure to low temperatures on workers can all increase the risk of accidents or ill health. The Cold Chain Federation is committed to driving safety standards in our industry. This guide is the foundation for all our future health and safety advice.”
Keeping People Safe in a Cold Store can be downloaded from 3 February from the Cold Chain Federation website at www.coldchainfederation.org.uk/advice. It sets out the risks, compliance requirements and best practice measures throughout a cold store business, including the cold store itself, refrigerated equipment and battery charging areas and also docking areas.
Kerry Broadhead, Health and Safety Manager at the Ice Co Storage and Logistics and Chair of the Cold Chain Federation’s Technical and Safety Expert Group says:“Keeping our people safe while they are operating is of primary importance to the Ice Co Storage and Logistics, and this new Cold Chain Federation guidance will be a valuable tool in helping us to maintain the highest levels of health and safety. By acting as a checklist of all the different risks that a cold store business needs to consider, it will be easier for us to make sure that our processes, knowledge and training stay right up to date.”
Keeping People Safe in a Cold Store is the first piece of guidance to be produced under the Federation’s new Cold Chain Compliance brand. It has been produced with the support of the Cold Chain Federation’s Primary Authority partner Slough Borough Council. As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting members, the Federation is inviting them to submit their specific health and safety compliance queries from which the Federation is looking to work with its Primary Authority Partner to produce further detailed advice notes. Please contact the Cold Chain Federation Compliance team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to submit a query.