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Sims moves towards ‘zero harm’ in the workplace

One company to benefit from enhanced visibility and safety is Sims Metal Management, the world’s largest metals recycler. Operating in more than 270 locations on five continents, the energy saved by the reuse of the 14.3 million tonnes of metal recycled by Sims annually is enough to offset the carbon emissions of almost 3.3 million people.

Across the UK, its 42 sites recover and recycle all types of metals, including end-of-life and abandoned scrap cars, consumer goods, surplus metal from manufacturing processes, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal, and large plant and machinery.

Sims operates a comprehensive health and safety strategy called SimsMMway. Its aim is to challenge ways of working and management culture to ensure that health and safety is a priority within the business. Sims’ vision is “towards a zero harm workplace”. Part of this strategy is to engineer-out risk through technology, wherever possible.

Sims called on Spillard Safety Systems for a full visibility review of mobile machinery across all its UK sites. As a result, offside camera systems were installed on all mobile units, including Liebherr, Sennebogen (pictured), Atlas and Terex scrap rehandlers. High-performance and high-durability Optronics camera systems - specifically developed for extreme environments and designed to cope with wet, dirty and gruelling off-highway conditions - were fitted to all existing and new machines, together with a convex mirror package focused to the offside of all machines.

Where reversing cameras were already installed, Spillard engineers carried out a review and maintenance programme to make sure these were in good condition. In addition, individual visibility assessments were carried out all the makes and models of scrap rehandlers and excavators. These provided clear evidence of where any blind spots had been, and how all-round operator visibility was now enhanced through correctly installed camera systems and mirrors. All this significantly reduced the risk of accidents and improving safety.

Senior health and safety adviser for Sims Metal Management in the UK Paul Urbonas says: “Transport and the hazards associated with moving vehicles, mobile plant and their interaction with pedestrians is the biggest risk to safety, if not properly controlled. The highest standards must be achieved every day, and we must ensure our people have the most suitable tools possible to support this.”

One tool that Sims has developed is an aide-mémoire on the greatest dangers involved in logistics onsite: FORCE. This stands for Falling objects (while loading), Overturn (such as bulkers turning over while tipping), Reversing (such as blind spots being ignored), Collisions (impact due to not having a one-way system) and Exit/Entry (for example, drivers falling off top of loads while trying to gain access).

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