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FSDF Chief Executive comment.

Delivering the goods in the snow and ice--Industry deserves nation's thanks

FSDF has been actively involved in keeping Government and media informed of problems caused by the snow in January. Overall, those who keep the food supply chain working, deserve recognition for doing just that and going the extra mile!

Dr Mick Jackson, CEO of Skills for Logistics, our sector skill council summed it up very well, "The recent weather has constituted a major challenge to the whole of the industry in its ability to continue to maintain the supply of goods and services across the country and, in particular, to those locations worst hit. I am proud to be able to say that the people working in the freight logistics industry have produced a magnificent response to this challenge. Whilst, of course, there have been some inevitable delays as the result of weather conditions, road closures and temporary hold-ups in some parts of the supply chain, the overall performance of the industry has been first class with the very vast majority of deliveries experiencing on-time service or minimal delays."

"Some 2.3 million people work in the UK freight logistics industry including some 450,000 drivers. They deserve the nation's thanks. This industry represents a vital and fundamental element of our way of life and offers career opportunities across a range of skills from IT to engineers, from managers to drivers, and much more. The experience has demonstrated the enormous contribution and value of what we do and I hope will encourage jobseekers and career changers to consider joining us and enjoying the rewards and satisfaction of carrying out such an important and worthwhile role."

We at the FSDF wholeheartly endorse this sentiment.

Additional Obligations on Ozone Depleting Substances to be backed up with new penalties

All temperature controlled facilities owners and operators must be aware of the ODS refrigerant regulation which came into effect on 1st January this year. You also need to be aware of additional legislation which updates the offences and penalties for failure to comply. The use of virgin ODS refrigerant was banned from 1st January this year under the previous EC ODS Regulation and only reclaimed or recycled refrigerant may now be used to maintain such systems. This new legislation increases users' responsibilities and obligations particularly those regarding leak testing, record keeping, labelling and introduces a requirement to record the source of supply of reclaimed and recycled ODS refrigerant.

For further information, F Gas Support have now updated their Guidance Notes (RAC3--Key Obligations and RAC8--Legislative Update and Strategies for HCFC Phase out) which outline how these changes affect the use and management of this type of equipment. They are available at www.defra.gov.uk/fgas. There remains a substantial amount of equipment which relies on the use of ODS refrigerant including many supermarkets, blast chillers, process coolers and some building air-conditioning.

If you or your company are involved in any of the following activities, the changes to this legislation could affect you:

* Produce, recover, recycle, reclaim, use, destroy or trade in ODS refrigerant such as R22.

* Operate refrigeration, air-conditioning heat pump or fire protection equipment containing ODS Refrigerant.

* Any individual, business or trade association involved in or representing those who manufacture, install, service or recover ozone-depleting substances from commercial or domestic equipment.

The proposed Regulations prescribe offences and penalties together with proposed powers for authorised persons to enforce them. Specific areas covering the use of ODS Refrigerant such as R22 by these proposals are:

* Production, placing on the market.

* Placing on the market of non-refillable containers.

* Placing on the market of products and equipment containing ODS

* Use and decommissioning of fire protection systems and fire extinguishers containing halons.

* Container labelling.

* Record-keeping.

* Import and export of products and equipment using ODS

* Trade with a State not party to the Montreal Protocol or a territory not covered by the Protocol.

* Precautionary measures to prevent and minimise leakages and emissions

* Requirements for specified stationary equipment or systems.

* Recovery and destruction of used refrigerant.

* Production, imports, placing on the market, use and export of new substances.

The consultation closes on 9th March 2010 and can be viewed at http://www. defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/ozone/index.htm

WORK AT HEIGHT GUIDANCE FOR COLD STORES

The Food Storage and Distribution Federation (FSDF) and The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) are delighted to announce the launch of new Work At Height Guidance for the frozen food and cold storage industry. This new guidance supports the industry in their selection of work at height equipment and has been developed following full consultation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Most cold store and frozen food operators require access for work at height activities. Due to the harsh climatic environment within a cold store, with temperatures often below minus 20C, there is a lack of current state of the art technology providing work at height solutions for the industry. Consequently prior to the agreement of this new guidance, many cold store operators were in breach of existing HSE guidance in this area by regularly utilising non integrated working platforms(I) for planned work. This meant that companies were potentially liable to prosecution and the industry lacked practical safety guidance in this area.

FSDF and BFFF have worked for some time with HSE to deliver a solution for the industry and HSE has recognised the practical limitations for cold stores. The resulting new guidance is supplementary to existing HSE Guidance note PM28(2), and supports cold store operators in their selection of work at height equipment by outlining a hierarchy of the alternatives available. It also includes some examples of elements to consider in developing a safe system of work for the operation of lift truck and non-integrated working platform combinations.

FSDF and BFFF are delighted to have worked together with HSE to provide a practical guide for the industry. The FSDF is also grateful for the specialist legal advice provided by its lawyers, Clyde and Co which was instrumental in the development of the solution. The industry is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all involved in the frozen food industry. This new guidance will support the industry to enhance their health and safety practices by providing relevant and practical advice for work at height solutions. Go to www. fsdf.org.uk to view the new guidance document.

NOTES

(1.) Non-integrated working platforms are attachments for use in conjunction with forklift trucks to elevate people so they can work at height, but they have no controls in the platform that allow a person in the platform to control the lift height of the platform or move the truck; i.e. all truck and working platform movements are controlled by the truck operator.

(2.) HSE Guidance Note PM28 (3rd edition)--Working Platforms (Nonintegrated) on forklift trucks outlines the restrictions on the circumstances in which non-integrated working platforms can be used.

Chris Sturman, Chief Executive of the FSDF
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Title Annotation:Food Storage and Distribution Federation; Ozone Depleting Substances
Comment:FSDF Chief Executive comment.(Food Storage and Distribution Federation)(Ozone Depleting Substances )
Author:Sturman, Chris
Publication:Frozen & Chilled Foods
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2010
Words:1160
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