In his opening address, Jarlath Sweeney, Editor of Handling Network Magazine and Group Editor at Fleet Publications, welcomed everyone to the Citywest Hotel, Dublin and gave an outline of the event. Jarlath then introduced the Moderator for the Seminar – Deirdre Sinnott, Senior Policy Inspector at the Health and Safety Authority.
Deirdre felt there was “huge potential growth in the warehousing industry and this growth is welcome.” However she also noted that due to the nature of the work it contained a number of inherent risks which need to be addressed and eliminated. These risks she noted emanate from working at height, slips trips and falls, from moving vehicles, powered pallet trucks and forklifts. She describes the injuries sustained when powered equipment is involved as often “catastrophic.”
Another speaker interested in reducing risks in the workplace was Mike Murphy of Mike Murphy Insurance, and with over fifty years in the underwriting business, his experience is invaluable. Mike’s informative presentation covered a number of topics relating to ware-housing and storage. In particular his points focusing on liability and the customer’s as-sumptions or expectations as to what exactly the ‘Warehousemans’ insurance covered, was quite revealing.
He advised that all warehouse customers should maintain cover on their goods as the Warehouseman’ insurance only covers for negligence on the part of the warehouse, This policy does not cover the customer for loss of profit or any taxes or charges that may apply.
One of Ireland’s most successful indigenous companies is Combilift and sister brand Aisle-Master in Monaghan. Its MD Martin McVicar explained that a major reason for the compa-ny’s success is the way they work with businesses to deliver the most efficient operating methods. This begins with a warehouse planned as a two-dimensional drawing, from which a three-dimensional fully animated image is generated. This means potential problems can be resolved, allowing for simple implementation which begins to create efficiencies immedi-ately. “The space savings brought about by good planning means that your forklift is free,” stated Martin.
One aspect of the current business climate that is far from free is land and property. Jarlath Lynn of Real Estate Agents CBRE presented his company’s thoughts on the latest trends in commercial property. Importantly he noted that companies need to keep in mind future de-velopments with regard to the increased electrification of not only warehouse equipment, it may also include staff cars, and possibly delivery vehicles. Accounting for the future also ex-tends to potential increases in vehicle size, and an increased demand for transport ‘Hubs’ to cater for last mile deliveries.
Good planning can eliminate many issues before they become a problem. This is the ap-proach McArdle Skeath took with the construction of its new storage premises in Hol-lystown, Dublin 15. Micheál McArdle explained a number of the issues that arose before, and during the construction of their state of the art facility, which included a full archaeo-logical survey of the site. However as Micheál pointed out “problem solving is an ethos in our company – thats what we do.” Micheál also explained many of the high-points the pro-ject brought as it progressed to completion. One of which is the service they can now offer to customers.
The seminar certainly gave the audience a great deal to consider and discuss over the net-working lunch, and all agreed it was an informative and useful event. It has signalled some important topics for discussion during the next Handling Network Seminar. Paul White