Quinn Packaging have invested in a series of health and safety initiatives in their Cavan based facility as part of their ongoing commitment to implementing and maintaining the highest health and safety standards at the plant.
The investments included the construction of a 750 sq. ft. purpose-built extension to the plant to house a new granulation unit, and a redevelopment of the factory’s loading bays. One of the key objectives of the recent improvements was to ensure greater pedestrian safety in an environment which plant machinery operates in the same workplace as pedestrian staff.
The new granulation unit was built at a cost in the region of €100,000 and opened in the last quarter of 2017. The extended facility has enabled the relocation of the granulation process, a process which ensures by-product of the PET sheet production is granulated and returned into the manufacturing process, is removed from the main factory to a dedicated space. This greatly reduces the need for forklift traffic and pedestrian staff to operate in the same workspace, with up to 1,000 daily forklift movements now transferred from the main factory floor to the dedicated granulation unit.
The new unit includes sound proof enclosures to house granulation machinery, an initiative which minimises employee exposure to high sound levels, and further improves health and safety conditions. The enclosures currently house two granulation machines, with the capacity for a third, which Quinn Packaging plan to invest in to increase granulation volume in the coming months.
Quinn Packaging’s Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Breda Mulligan, highlighted the company’s commitment to employee health and safety, and how these improvements will benefit the staff working in Quinn Packaging,
“We have a responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all staff and visitors to the site, and this significant investment will help to further improve conditions and minimise risk.
We are very committed to an ongoing process of risk assessment and improvement in our operations. Accidents involving workplace vehicles in Ireland are among the highest reported to the HSA annually. We have measures in place throughout the factory to ensure safety where traffic operates, but the newly built granulation unit physically removes a large portion of forklift traffic from the factory floor, a measure which significantly reduces risk by reducing exposure to traffic.
It’s also vital that we minimise the risk of exposure to potentially harmful noise levels, an objective we have achieved with the installation of our new sound proof enclosures, in addition to the personal protective equipment supplied to all staff.
The combination of improvements we’ve made will help us maintain our excellent safety record here at Quinn Packaging.”
The restructure of the factory’s delivery loading bays also focuses on improving the safety of those working in the area, with the installation of a new safety handrail system to establish designated pedestrian areas, and the introduction of traffic management measures to further minimise the risk of injury from traffic and machinery.
With employees required to check all loads prior to dispatch, and all deliveries arriving in the loading bay, the company have invested in a new mobile access platform to ensure safe access to all trailers.
The restructure also includes changes to safety procedures which ensure all safety equipment is stored correctly in dedicated, accessible areas, and the erection of new high visibility safety signage throughout the loading bay.
The investment in health and safety improvements comes off the back of other significant investment in the plant, with a recent €3million investment in state of the art technology to facilitate growth in the supply of PET Sheet across the UK, Ireland, and Europe.