Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s quarterly Back of Store feature. Could we be seeing the light of recovery at last? Whatever happens over the next few months, the back of store areas in your stores and the distribution centres serving your supply chain need to stay well equipped and maintained so you can stay ahead.

In this feature we have a selection of stories on the latest equipment and solutions to help you get the best out of this essential part of your business. Among them, Hörmann are reminding us about the importance of servicing your industrial doors before winter; Enersys are delivering plug-and-play power on demand for materials handling equipment with the new Hawker XFC batteries; and Crown have launched their latest pedestrian pallet truck range, the new WP3000 series, which delivers high performance at lowest total cost of ownership and is ideally suited to back of store, retail and FMCG warehousing usage.

The leading suppliers in equipment and solutions have established relationships with their customers over many years. Industrial safety specialist Castell has celebrated 90 years of protecting people and assets with its electrical trapped key interlocking systems. And as reported on our front page, Union Industries, maker of fast acting industrial doors, has been working with Premier Foods for 15 years and recently completed its 22nd installation for the company at their Cambridgeshire facility.

Having the right equipment is one thing, but using it properly is just as important. All staff involved in moving goods need to be trained to use your forklift trucks and other equipment properly, and supervisors need to know what constitutes correct use.

In today’s safety-conscious environment, a growing number of UK companies with warehousing and materials handling operations recognise the need to give proper training to their staff members who are required to operate forklift trucks. Even so, sadly accidents still happen, with an estimated 20% of incidents involving lack of training or supervision.

A leading UK training provider is calling for a combined industry initiative headed up by the Health & Safety Executive focusing on the requirements of the PUWER Regulations. These require that not only are forklift operators trained, but those who manage them have sufficient training to be able to determine when forklifts are being driven correctly or incorrectly.

With the prospect of massive fines and lasting damage to the business in the event of fatal injuries, it would be good to be able to report in future issues that the grocery sector is leading the way. If your company is doing something to help, let us know!

The Grocery Trader

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