How has business been for you in 2012? Could we be seeing the light of recovery at last? Whatever happens over the next few months, whether you’re a delivered wholesaler or a cash ‘n’ carry, your warehouse area needs to be well equipped and maintained way so you can fight back when times are tough, and you can ramp up when things pick up.

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 industrial doors before winter comes, GNB Batteries is plugging the fork lift truck power gap with its new battery rental service, and Castell is raising the bar in loading bay efficiency and safety.

The leading suppliers have established relationships with many of their customers. As reported on our front page, Union Industries, makers 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 cash ‘n’ carry and delivered wholesale sector is leading the way in this important area.

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