Maurice Young was a keynote speaker at the recent 6th IIR conference on Ammonia and CO2 Refrigeration Technologies held between April 16th and 18th at Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia.

140 delegates registered for this latest IIR meeting, which represents almost a 40% increase over the previous conferences.  Delegates came from about 35 countries including speakers and presenters from 23 countries, mostly from within Europe but also including speakers from the USA, Africa, India, China, New Zealand and Australia.

Summary of presentation:

IIR6_Ohrid_MJY

Ammonia has been considered to be an excellent choice of refrigerant for industrial applications for over 150 years.  However, ammonia is toxic and besides it is also flammable and requires careful safety consideration in the design and operation of refrigeration systems, even though it has a good safety record and ignition of ammonia is a very rare occurrence and is virtually unknown in systems which comply with recognised European Standards.  In the UK a recent ‘Joint Industry Project’ has sought to provide practical guidance to ensure ammonia refrigeration plants are fully compliant with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 as required by EU ATEX Directives.  The paper provided an overview of the current legal framework and explains the procedure to be followed in classification of hazardous areas in accordance with IEC EN 60079-10-1.  Finally an approach using new software to model potential releases and calculate the hazard range, was described.

About the conference

According to all reports, the concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere are increasing continuously.  There are alarming projections of GHG emissions including HFCs.  In Europe, an EU Regulation 842 on F-gases have been introduced which is revised in 2014 with more adopted restrictions, including phase-down of HFCs.  More than 110 countries support the proposal for phase-down of HFCs within the Montreal Protocol, but no agreement has been reached so far.  In the meantime, new HFC refrigerants (named HFOs) with low GWPs are announced.

In the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, confusion and uncertainties related to working fluids in many applications are continuing.  In addition, there are many groups with diverging interests: chemical companies, manufacturers of equipment, distributors, users, environmental organizations, politicians and the public.

Despite many difficulties, the global trend towards using natural refrigerants is intensifying.  There are very positive signals in Europe and some parts in the world where expanding use of ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons in various applications is occurring.  We will eliminate all uncertainties in the future regarding both Protocols and environmental regulations applying to natural refrigerants.

Of all refrigerants applied today, ammonia and CO2 are the oldest that have been used since the 19th century.  The topics of the conference are: design of modern ammonia and new CO2 systems and technological innovations, improving energy efficiency, various applications, technical guidelines and safety regulations.  It is very clear: by using more ammonia and CO2 refrigerants, we are employing environmentally friendly technologies.

TCS&D14The FSDF’s Technical & Safety Committee (TASC) has won the award for Health & Safety at the Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution Awards 2014. The award ceremony took place Tuesday 16th September at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, where TASC’s Chairman Ian Hancock received the award.  Maurice Young Consulting’s principal consultant has been an active member of the TASC team since 1978 and regularly represents the FSDF on other industry working groups concerned with both technical standards and regulatory and enforcement matters concerning the temperature controlled logistics sector.

In recent years the Committee have undertaken a number of projects the main one being the TASC Seminars and the INFOCUS newsletter which are aimed at Health and Safety, Technical and Facilities Managers throughout the FSDF members’ operations.  The next of which, TASC4, is taking place on 8th October at the Deafblind conference centre in Peterborough.  TASC seminars have all been very well supported and consequently we have been able to attract a high calibre of speakers who are all recognised as ‘leaders’ within their own area of expertise to provide us with practical advice regarding those issues that currently affect the food storage and distribution industry. Book your place online or email info@fsdf.org.uk

In January the FSDF launched the Health and Safety Leadership Programme.  This initiative has been designed to provide a highly visible declaration of the FSDF’s leadership for members who are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all involved in the food storage and distribution industry sector. Currently membership of the FSDF Health and Safety Leadership Programme covers nearly 100 operational locations throughout the UK from which we have begun to collect anonymous accident statistics that will enable us to develop benchmarking data and where appropriate produce future guidance regarding ‘best practice’ for members.

The Technical & Safety Committee has also become involved in supporting the FSDF’s new Primary Authority Partnership with Slough Borough Council and will therefore be directly involved in the development of ‘assured guidance’ for members that they will be able to rely on at all their operations.

Although historically the FSDF has always enjoyed a good relationship with the HSE through our participation on a number of various ‘joint industry projects’ TASC now sits on the HSE’s Logistics Strategy Forum providing leadership for our industry sector by influencing the development of future health and safety regulations, codes of practice and enforcement strategies.

TASC continues to provide a confidential forum that enables key issues relevant to the food and drink logistics industry to be discussed and reviewed and it also enables pertinent information to be circulated to all the Federation’s members. For more information about TASC go www.fsdf.org.uk or email info@fsdf.org.uk

NavMan Keeping CoolTransporting temperature sensitive goods can be a very demanding task. We often hear how the cold chain needs to synchronise more than ever to improve the efficiency of maintaining product at the correct temperature whilst meeting exacting delivery schedules. This requires a combination of science, process and technology and the stakes are high. Billions of pounds of produce is spoiled each year and the challenge increases with the ever demanding fast-paced, short-lived perishable supply chains in which products can flow from source to customers within a matter of weeks, days, and sometimes hours.

Why controlling temperature in transport presents a challenge to fleet managers. Fleet managers in the cold chain face their own set of issues. Ensuring product temperature during transport is one of their biggest challenges. Keeping perishable products at the precise temperature, from warehouse to truck to final destination, is critical. If the temperature in a trailer drops even a few degrees, product can deteriorate quickly, costing companies thousands of pounds. Furthermore, customers are increasingly demanding proof of cold chain integrity to ensure that the perishable products they receive have been cared for correctly during every step of the supply chain. To compound the situation; handling temperature-sensitive, perishable freight makes dealing with regulations even more challenging.

Refrigerated fleets of all sizes can now improve temperature control and simultaneously drive down operating costs.
It can be a major headache for the cold chain, which is exactly why NavMan Wireless decided to produce Keep Your Cool, their new independent guide to effective temperature control in refrigerated vehicles. The guide outlines the general concepts of transport refrigeration systems plus current legislative requirements and also explores ways in which temperature monitoring systems can be used in practice to help improve temperature control and simultaneously drive down operating costs.

Maurice Young Consulting were delighted to help Navman Wireless in the compilation of this guide.

Workplace AccidentThe recently published RTITB e-leaflet summarises the main points on workplace transport operator training found in the full version of Training Recommendations for Workplace Transport, available to purchase from www.rtitb.co.uk/assist.

Training Recommendations for Workplace Transport has been written to provide employers, training organisations, and instructors with the information needed to help them meet the requirements and standards of effective workplace transport instruction.

You will find a lot of useful information in this booklet, but it should not be seen as a substitute  for core HSE documents such as L117, HSG76 and HSG136 – anybody involved in the operation or  control of, or the training of operators working with workplace transport should read and familiarise  themselves with all these documents.

Hard HatThe HSE is to investigate charging for inspections and advice following approval from the government in its response to the triennial review.

The executive has been tasked with researching a “fully chargeable inspection service” for businesses with mature health and safety arrangements as part of a range of initiatives to commercialise its activities sanctioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In its formal response on the 26th June to the review by former EEF chief executive Martin Temple, the DWP says it accepts the review’s recommendations for the HSE’s commercialisation, including consultancy with overseas regulators, increasing revenue from its research arm Health and Safety Laboratory and charging for advice on planning applications near hazardous installations.

The response reports that a steering group led by HSE chair Judith Hackitt and including HSE board members and Martin Temple, has been set up to consider HSE’s commercial options.

Temple was commissioned by the government to report on HSE’s fitness and functions as part of a cycle of three-yearly reviews of public bodies and reported in January. Though he recommended a charging scheme for inspections in his January review, he said the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme which bills organisations for advice to remedy material breaches, was widely misunderstood as a penalty system and should be reformed. In the DWP’s response, health and safety minister Mike Penning says the government remains committed to the principle of FFI, but he has asked HSE to set up an independent review panel to consider its impact on relationships with business, which will report to him in July.

The HSE has also recently changed the system for contesting FFI charges so it involves an outside adjudicator at the first appeal, in line with Temple’s recommendation.

“We welcome the establishment of the review panel to consider the operation of FFI and its impact on the relationship between HSE and business,” said Terry Woolmer, head of health and safety policy for the EEF. “What we find less satisfactory is that the formal terms of reference for the panel have not been previously made available publicly, nor has there been a public call for evidence inviting stakeholder views.”

Temple also called for a review of the remit and make-up of the HSE’s executive board — formerly the Health and Safety Commission — to check it had the right skills mix. The government says it accepts the recommendation and has created a new skills matrix for board members, but rejects the suggestion that the number of board appointments made in consultation with unions and employers’ organisations should be reduced, altering the traditional tripartite nature.

In response to Temple’s suggestion that the HSE should have a new performance framework with measures for cost effectiveness of its services compared with other regulators, the government says the executive will implement a new framework in September. The government has not accepted the triennial review’s suggested target for HSE to conclude 95% of non-fatal accident investigations  within 12 months of the incident.

Other recommendations accepted by the DWP include reviews of the HSE’s working arrangements with the Environment Agency and the Office of Rail Regulation.

HB_01_FLTPhillip White, Director of Operational Strategy at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will be focusing on health & safety culture as the keynote speaker at the forthcoming Freight Transport Association (FTA) Safety in Logistics Conference.

The popular FTA conference, which is scheduled to take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on Tuesday 10 June, will recognise the importance of health and safety in the workplace, outlining how essential it is to engage with all employees.
For further information or to book a place, go to http://www.fta.co.uk/events/safety_conference.html or call the FTA Member Service Centre on 08717 11 22 22.

Maurice Young recently won the FSDF’s inaugural award for ‘Outstanding Individual Contribution for Health and Safety’ for his dedication to raising the standards of health and safety within the food logistics industry.  The award was presented in May at the FSDF’s annual luncheon that was held this year at Birmingham City Council House.

FSDF H&S Awards_2014 Winner

When it came to selecting this winner, the judges’ decision was unanimous. Maurice Young has been at the forefront of Supply Chain and Logistics developments for more than 30 years and has been instrumental in driving the FSDF’s health and safety programme forward.

Chris Sturman, CEO of the FSDF commented: “Maurice has been a major contributor to the composition and ongoing development of the FSDF’s health and safety services and has a fastidious determination when it comes to improving the industry’s health and safety record.  A large number of our members have benefitted greatly from his expert advice and consultation, as well as his position with the HSE and other governing bodies, and this award goes some way to acknowledging his success in this area.”

Maurice Young Consulting carries out risk assessments and health and safety audits for a number of clients throughout the UK.  In addition, Maurice Young has worked for clients to provide expert witness reports and opinion covering a range of technical matters regarding temperature-controlled logistics.

HB_01_FLTOne third of UK warehouse operators view improving their fulfillment operations as a top priority.

This is according to Access, which has released its latest industry survey. It found that 33 per cent of respondents believed improving this process was a key aim for them over the coming year.

Currently, 56 per cent of those questioned admitted to still using paper instructions, while another half of businesses use receipts for goods received. However, technology is starting to make an impact in the industry, with 35 per cent of firms using radio frequency and a further 27 per cent use handheld computers or mobiles.

Access is challenging those businesses still shunning technology to modernise and reap the benefits that would become available to them. These include being able to pick stock quickly and accurately, while enabling replenishment to occur automatically.

Ian Roper, divisional director of supply chain solutions at Access, commented: “Warehouse IT is a differentiator that can give customers and clients accurate and transparent information about their goods and orders. Adapters will be rewarded with better quality clients offering better profit opportunities.”

The survey was carried out by Redshift Research and questioned 132 warehouse operators in the wholesale, manufacturing and 3PL sectors.

Hard Hat

Courts are handing down harsher penalties for breaches of health and safety law since the introduction of the Health and Safety (Offences) Act five years ago, according to a review by the HSE.

 

A post-legislative scrutiny document shows that changes introduced under the 2008 Act (which came into effect in January 2009) have led to more cases being tried in the lower courts, higher fines for offenders and more individual jail terms.

The aim of the Act was to raise the maximum penalties available to the courts for certain offences by altering the penalty framework set out in the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

Key findings of the review, carried out on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), include:

  • a greater proportion of cases have been heard in the lower courts since the Act came into force: 86% compared to 70% in the period leading up to its introduction
  • the average fine imposed by the courts involving breaches of health and safety regulations alone increased by 60%, from £4577 to £7310
  • for cases involving a combination of breaches of regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act, the average increase was 25%, from £13,334 to £16,730.

“By handing greater sentencing powers to magistrates and sheriffs it has sent a clear message to unscrupulous employers that if they do not take their responsibilities seriously they will face stiff penalties, which include heavy fines and – in the very worst cases – prison,” said Mike Penning, minister of state for health and safety.

“At the same time it has removed the burden of prosecuting all but the most serious of cases through the Crown Courts, which is generally less efficient, more time-consuming and more expensive than hearings held at the lower courts.”

The report analysed data taken between 1 April 2006 and 15 January 2009, and between 16 January 2009 and 31 March 2013.

In the pre-Act period, 4% of cases that went before the higher courts and 1% that went before the lower courts led to a custodial sentence or equivalent (suspended sentence or community service). Since the Act, the figures are 18% and 5%.

Custodial sentences are only relevant for prosecutions involving individuals, rather than corporate bodies. The Act made imprisonment an option for a much wider range of offences.

 

Warehouse_AerialInvestment in the UK logistics sector rose sharply during 2013.

This is according to commercial property consultants CBRE, which has recently published its Logistics MarketView report.

Data showed that by the end of the first half of the year, investment had already surpassed the level achieved throughout the whole of 2012. This increased further during the second half, bringing the final total to £2.34 billion.

The results achieved last year even dwarfed the record-high levels of 2011. This is even more positive because investment levels back then were boosted by the sale of three large portfolios, whereas 2013 saw a much larger spread of assets.

London and the south-east posted the highest level of investment, with a 39 per cent share of the funds put into the sector. Meanwhile, Scotland only accounted for one per cent of the proceedings. The report also showed that UK companies sank the most amount of money into the sector, with 45 per cent of transactions being carried out by home-based firms