The Grand Finale of the Dances with Pallets competition for forklift operators took place on Saturday, 25 February 2023. Twenty two finalists selected in regional qualifiers from among the company employees tested their skills in two trials: a high-level puzzle and a transit obstacle course. The final was traditionally held at Raben Group's largest distribution centre in Gądki near Poznań.
After a two-year break caused by the pandemic, in 2022, Raben Group organised the Dances with Pallets competition for the seventh time in cooperation with Still Polska. More than 140 participant took part in the qualifiers and they represented the Polish companies of Raben Group: Raben Logistics Polska, Fresh Logistics Polska and Raben Transport. The aim of the competition is primarily to raise awareness among warehouse workers regarding work safety in the warehouse, but also to recognize and appreciate the role of forklift operators.
Thanks to the competition, we are not only aiming to build a safety culture within the company, but also to recognise the skills of our warehouse staff. They are people with drive - self-motivated and committed to their work, as can be seen during today's final - comments Dominika Olejniczak, HR Manager of Fresh Logistics Polska, Raben Group - The annual competition is an excellent opportunity not only for the operators to test themselves and their professional qualifications (skills, knowledge), but also, as an employer branding tool, to express our appreciation for the difficult work of the warehouse worker.
Each year, qualifications for the Grand Final consist of two parts: theoretical workshops focused on presenting good practices and desired behaviours, and a practical component during which forklift operators have to demonstrate great precision when navigating a route with obstacles.
During the Dances with Pallets competition and the individual qualifiers, we want to take a holistic view of safety in intralogistics, taking into account aspects such as people, equipment, cargo, and the warehouse - as a facility and the processes within it - explains Krzysztof Pigla Product Manager, STILL Polska - The combination of theory and practice strengthens the memorisation process and gives operators the opportunity to make some changes to their habits almost immediately. Among the participants in the competition, we had both people with almost 30 years of forklift experience and those who are just starting out. As a result, we observed different techniques for completing the obstacle course. Importantly, operators have always placed a very high priority on maintaining a high level of safety during runs.
This year, a record number of participants took part in the competition. More than 140 forklift operators from all over Poland took part in the autumn 2022 qualifiers. Those who qualified for the final were accompanied by their loved ones in Gądki. The motivation to fight was therefore twofold - not only financial gratification but also recognition in the eyes of family and children. The competition was held in two categories: a high-level puzzle (for high-bay workers) and a transit obstacle course (for cross-dock workers).
All the participants displayed remarkable skill, precision and safety in both trials.
The winners of the DANCES WITH PALLETS Grand Final were:
Transit obstacle course:
1. Adam Turaczyk, Raben Logistics Polska, d. Cholerzyn
2. Piotr Wieloch, Raben Logistics Polska, d. Szczecin
3. Krzysztof Bernatowicz, Fresh Logistics Polska, d. Szczecin
1. Serhii Rudenko, Raben Logistics Polska, d. Gądki
2. Kacper Wieczorek, Raben Logistics Polska, d. Sosnowiec
3. Łukasz Szcześniak, Fresh Logistics Polska, d. Gliwice
Health and safety are non-negotiable values and they are an integral part of Raben Group corporate culture. Changing dangerous behaviours into safe habits allows for protecting life and health. Therefore, all Raben Group employees are engaged in building the robust safety culture. The Dances with Pallets competition, which promotes safety in warehouses, perfectly fits Raben Group's Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) policy. And that is why we still want to Dance with Pallets at Raben Group.
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