When Heineken was looking for safety barriers for its Zoeterwoude production facility in the Netherlands, the company approached A-SAFE for a comprehensive solution. The installation has proven so successful, Heineken has since implemented A-SAFE protection across other areas of the 80-hectare site.
The Netherlands site employees wanted A-SAFE barriers after seeing them at a UK site.
Heineken takes safety in the working environment very seriously and preventing accidents in its worldwide facilities is a priority for the company. Heineken’s extensive operation in Zoeterwoude in the west of the Netherlands is Europe’s largest brewery and produces beer both for domestic consumption and export around the world. The company was looking to enhance pedestrian safety in an area of the facility equipped with metal fences, steel constructions and floor markings.
The Team Leader of the Logistics department had been impressed by A-SAFE barriers during a visit to a one of Heineken’s sister operations in the UK and he was keen to provide similar levels of protection in his own facility, “They had a brewery full of polymer barriers to protect their employees and also to prevent damaging their forklifts,” he said. “It looked really great, so we thought we should immediately look to see if such a solution was possible for us. Metal does not absorb impact, so when you hit such a fence you got a lot of damage on your forklift or somebody gets hurt.”
The barriers optimise traffic in a facility and segregate pedestrians from workplace vehicles.
Heineken approached A-SAFE and requested an initial installation of iFlex 3 Rail Pedestrian Barrier to define and protect walkways, as well as to segregate pedestrians from active forklift traffic in operation. Inward-opening Swing Gates were also installed at crossing points to prevent pedestrians from accidentally stepping into the path of a moving vehicle.
The Installation Leader at Heineken said, “The pedestrians are now completely segregated from the working area, but even where a pedestrian could potentially be hit by a forklift truck, the A-SAFE barrier will absorb the impact. Thereby, the chance of injuries gets a lot smaller. The A-SAFE barrier absorbs the impact. So you can drive in to it with a forklift and both will be unharmed.”
Implementing A-SAFE polymer barriers in place of the pre-existing metal barriers underlined Heineken’s consistent commitment to improving workplace safety for its employees. It also helped reduce the financial costs of barrier repairs and maintenance within the facility.
The Installation Leader also noted that such was the success of the installation, further A-SAFE barriers were later installed in other parts of the 70-hectare site, "More were wanted in the CS&E department, who also found them aesthetically pleasing. And so we also placed the barriers around a number of columns in the warehouse. That's a real eye-catcher. The packaging department also passes by on a regular basis in the warehouse of CS&L, so they may also request A-SAFE barriers."