World Fair Trade Day 2016: The Relationship Between Racking Inspections and Ethical Business
Racking inspections are essential for the safety of any business and safety is essential for any ethical business
14th May 2016 marks the 16th annual World Fair Trade Day, an event promoted by the World Fair Trade organisation. This year’s event specifies that people should “be an agent for change” (with particular emphasis on the “for”) and, at Storage Equipment Experts, we wholeheartedly support this idea. In its own small way, we sincerely believe that racking inspections help to improve the supply chain of international business by making it safer and therefore more ethical. That is why we support World Fair Trade Day.
The Link Between Racking Inspections and Ethical Business
We’ve spoken at length about the connection between safe business and sustainable business, and the link between safe business and ethical business is very similar. The continuing crisis in Indonesia related to the production of palm oil is a perfect example of how safe business, sustainable business, and ethical business are linked. After all, some of the main issues with palm oil are that its production is unsafe, unsustainable, and therefore unethical.
Ethical palm oil production is an issue that affects everybody and that everybody can affect. That’s why being an agent for change is so important. To give just one example, after a lot of petitions and a lot of boycotts, coffee chain Starbucks finally caved and adopted a sustainable palm oil policy. A big part of this, we hope, will be a safer supply chain. And you can’t have a safe supply chain with racking inspections and racking inspection training.
You may not think that where you choose to buy your coffee matters, but it does. Just as racking inspections matter to the global supply chain.
How can Racking Inspections and Racking Inspection Training Make the Global Supply Chain Safer?
The global statistics for workplace accidents makes for staggering reading: 2.3 million deaths a year, 6,300 deaths a day, or one death every 15 seconds. No matter which way you spin it, it’s a lot of people needlessly dying. It’s easy to become desensitised to enormous numbers like that, and so another way to think of it is like this: if the whole world had a population of 71 million (only six and a half million more than the current population of the UK) 63 people would be dying every day as a direct result of workplace accidents.
More stringent racking inspection legislation would help to change that. True, it wouldn’t solve the problem overnight, but warehouses are a huge part of the global supply chain and so unsafe warehouses are a global issue.
We tend to hear about global warehouse safety issues in the news when something dramatic happens. The two warehouse explosions in Tianjin, China were caused by unsafe warehouse practice and led to big protests and international media attention. In much the same way, the Flixborough warehouse disaster 1974 led almost directly to the creation of HSE in the UK. It’s great that we choose to react to tragedies like these with calls for more warehouse safety, but we shouldn’t have to wait until a huge tragedy happens to take action.
The sad truth is that many warehouse workers in the global supply chain don’t die in attention-grabbing disasters such as the tragedies that occurred in Flixborough and Tianjin. For many people, the tragedy is a day-to-day work environment where profits are put before safety and where workers are underpaid, undertrained, and unsafe. Sadly, this is the case in the US where a large percentage of warehouse staff are working with no health insurance for less than the living wage.
This need not be the case, as racking inspection training, safety protocol, and ethical business practices can help to increase profits. The attitude that the global supply chain needs to shake off is that ethical and safe business is the enemy of their wallet. In the long term, this just isn’t true.
At Storage Equipment Experts, we support World Fair Trade Day because we believe that fair, safe, and ethical trade benefits everybody. We are proud to be a company whose racking inspection training and SEMA-approved rack inspections help to make British workplaces safer. Our role in the global supply chain may be small, but we are certain that it’s positive. Racking inspection training is the cornerstone of safer, more sustainable, and more ethical global supply chain.
Contact Storage Equipment Experts for SEMA-approved racking inspections from the UK’s foremost experts in racking inspections and rack inspection training.