|Company||A-Safe (UK) Ltd|
Magnet is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of joinery and kitchen products to the trade and consumer markets. It is part of the Nobia Group, Europe’s leading kitchen company, and employs 1,700 employees in the UK. Of these, A-Safe protects about 290 manufacturing and warehousing staff, supported by 80 in administration, at the busy parent factory and headquarters in Darlington, Co Durham.
Joanne Brookes-Wright, the Head of UK HSE for the Nobia Group, reported: “A-Safe pedestrian Barriers had initially been installed a couple of years ago. The original safety concern was to segregate and separate staff from busy, in-coming heavy vehicular traffic, including articulated trucks, down the length of the factory’s main central thoroughfare, ‘the middle roadway’; a run of about 100 metres on both sides and previously, potentially very dangerous. Pedestrian barrier was used to protect the movement of staff in this situation, demonstrating both high visibility and strength. The warehousing complex has been updated section by section to segregate staff, again using Pedestrian barriers and is a continuing process as risk assessment identifies furthers areas requiring protection. Racking in the warehouse has been protected by rack end barrier; bollards have protected vulnerable corners.
Joanne was pleased to confirm: “I know of no issues with the A-Safe barrier and everyone is entirely happy and feels protected”.
The protection story actually goes further, Ken Hindmarch the site’s Outbound Manager recalls: “I remember one incident, before Joanne joined the company, on the ‘middle roadway’ where a large continental articulated vehicle veered and lodged in the pedestrian barrier, severely bending it in the process. When it was pulled clear the A-Safe barrier sprang back to its former state, I was very impressed. Originally we had a mixture of steel ‘armco’ barriers of various sizes and strengths; they were very rigid and ‘goosed’ when hit and needed replacing. With A-Safe there has been little maintenance, it’s very sustainable. We have fitted the barriers ourselves, with the relevant skills, it is very easy to fit and also easy to relocate, as we reorganise the way we work and can adapt it to new safety situations”.