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Case study: Safe work practices top focus at new Acklands-Grainger distribution centre

By COS staff

Acklands-Grainger is opening a brand new 535,000 square foot distribution centre in Toronto, and finding ways to help employees work safer was a key component during the build.

AG-content“One of the things we really focused on is how to make a better work day for the individual, so they go home less tired and feel more invigorated when they finish their day,” said Christiana Arsenault, manager of the new distribution centre.

While the company was designing the building and determining new configurations, technology and processes, it always had the employee in mind, said Ken Chamberlin, vice-president and general manager of Eastern Canada for Acklands-Grainger. And Acklands-Grainger turned to the employees themselves for guidance.

“It’s also working with the team members and have them help us design those solutions as well. It’s getting the feedback, the voice of the customer, which is our team member, really understanding what they are trying to do. We really listed to them and we really deigned the building around their needs.”

Some of the ergonomic designs include height-adjustable computer screens and work tables as well as lift tables that are easily adjustable.

“With a foot petal, they can move it to their height instead of having to ben over and do that repetitively all day,” said Arsenault.

The new conveyor system works both ways — inbound and outbound — so there are fewer moving parts and no longer a lot of manual waking around.

The employees are really excited to get into the new location, said Dean Johnson, president of Acklands-Grainger. This is proven by the fact that 85 per cent of employees have confirmed they will be moving to the new facility.

“For the team members, this is really a dream come true,” said Arsenault. “There’s always a way to improve safety and we really kept that in mind here with our distribution centre and with our team members: What can we do to bring it and elevate it to that new level and to the best level we can possible provide?”



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