Tesco targets loading bay safety

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Tesco is targeting loading bay safety at all its distribution centres with trials of both Castell and Easilift drive away prevention systems at its Hinckley depot.

The Easilift Dock Management System, which was jointly developed by Traka, will be installed at goods in, while Castell’s Salvo system will be implemented at goods out to prevent premature departure of vehicles from the loading bay.

The goods in system combines Easilift’s dock door and associated control equipment with Traka’s electronic key control system.

When a driver arrives at the goods in office the ignition keys are clipped to an iFob which is inserted into the main Traka control panel, allowing a corresponding iFob to be removed and handed to the driver. The bay door will only open when an authorised operative inserts their personal iFob into a secondary control panel located adjacent to each door.

Once loading/unloading is complete, the operative closes the door, which sends a message to the goods in control box, permitting the removal of the driver’s keys – but only after the deposit iFob is inserted back into the box.

Joe Carthy, Tesco Distributions’ health & safety manager, says: “This was a limited trial, but the results were fantastic. The system was easy to operate and to understand, and it took a huge amount of human element out of the process.”

Castell’s Salvo system works in a similar way at goods out. When a trailer is in position at the loading bay door the Salvo Susie lock is fitted to the emergency air brake line coupling. Once fitted, a uniquely-coded key is released from the Salvo, locking the unit onto the coupling.

The key can only be released once the Salvo has been fitted to the brake coupling, at which point the key is then taken to the corresponding loading bay and used to switch the power on to the door. Without a locked trailer, there can be no power to open the door.

Once the loading bay door is opened, the key cannot be removed to release the trailer until the door is closed.

The system was trialled for three months on 46 loading bays.

“With Salvo, you cannot open the warehouse door unless the trailer is immobilised on the bay outside. More importantly, you cannot remove a trailer while the loading bay door is open. This removes the risk of bay drive-offs,” adds Carthy.

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