A quick look at house keeping in an Australian coldstore

The manager outside a freezer chamber
The manager outside a freezer chamber
The photos were taken at an ice cream store in Melbourne. The actual cold stores were erected in the late 1970’s, so the facility is older than most South African cold stores.Note the following:
1. Strip curtain has no broken strips.
2. There is no ice in the doorway.
3. An “Albany” high speed door is also in use.
4. Fire extinguisher next to the door way.
5. Safety signs
6. Emergency torch.
7. The manager is wearing a high visibility vest and safety shoes.
8. Safety bollards.
 In Australia, pedestrians must walk in defined walk ways which must be protected from forklifts and other materials handling equipment.  In this photograph the pedestrian route crosses one used by forklifts, ie a freezer doorway. Pedestrians must open a safety gate before walking in front of the freezer door. When the gate is opened a limit switch activates a red light inside the store so that forklift drivers working there know a pedestrian is in the doorway area.

Safety Gate
Safety Gate

Wire Mesh
Wire Mesh used behind fixed racks to protect pedestrians
Inside the cold store working area, additional protection is given to pedestrians by placing a fixed rack in front of the walkway. In other places crash barriers are used instead.  Wire mesh covers the back of the fixed rack to prevent pallets from being pushed through the rack and onto pedestrians.
Pedestrian walkways continue outside the working area.  Pedestrians can walk between the yellow lines. When they walk between the red lines they are in a danger area and must pay extra attention.

Pedestrian Walkways
Painted pedestrian walkways indicate areas where it is safe to walk

Stacking cases onto a pallet
Cases are packed onto a pallet on a platform that lowers itself.
This shows an employee stacking cases, coming from a blast freezer, onto a pallet.

  1. The pallet is placed on a platform which lowers itself as the cases are stacked, so the employee is always working at an optimum height to protect his back.
  2. There are two platforms so that he can start loading the second pallet while the completed one is waiting for a forklift to take it away.
  3. He is wearing ear muffs for noise protection as well as cold store protective clothing.
Cold store is using a “man on” machine.  They are more manoeuvrable than a counterbalance forklift and they allow an employee to get on and off quickly making him more productive, ie he can check as well as move pallets.Note the steel mesh protection on the overhead guard as well as the crash barrier in the back ground which defines and protects the pedestrian walk way.

"Man on" machine
“Man on” machine

The Cold store generally was in a spotless condition and employees were complying with the health and safety rules.

I have visited no South African cold stores that come close to these standards.