Dances with palettes - 2018 finals

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The rivalry of the top 20 forklift operators from all over Poland. Two categories: a high-storage puzzle and a cross-dock obstacle course, as well as extraordinary demonstrations of skills, precision and safety in various disciplines. This is a brief summary of the grand finale of the “Dances with Pallets” contest which took place on December 10, 2018, in the largest logistics centre of Raben Group in Gądki.

Raben Group has been organizing the Dances with Palettes contest since 2014 in cooperation with STILL Polska. The event targets forklift operators and its aim is to emphasise two major aspects of everyday work of a warehouse worker. First of all, it is raising the awareness of safe work in the warehouse. Secondly, it is extremely important to acknowledge the competencies and raise the prestige of the position of the operator.

“Dances with Pallets is an opportunity to test professional qualifications (knowledge and skills) by employees and to challenge the best forklift operators in Raben Group. The main motivation for organizing this contest is the willingness to appreciate the role of the operator's job and to raise awareness related to work safety in the warehouse - the 5th edition was received with great interest among employees, which underlines the right direction of our actions in the areas of building engagement and satisfaction among employees.” - says Ksenia Sarna - HR Manager at Fresh Logistics Polska.

Each year, qualifications for the contest consist of two parts: theory focused on presenting good practices and desired behaviours, and a practical component during which forklift operators navigate a route with obstacles.

“The competition is getting more and more popular from year to year. This year the qualifying rounds were held in 8 locations. During the theoretical part, the operators had the opportunity to consolidate the knowledge about safety, which was then tested on the pre-prepared track, where we checked their behaviour in practice. On this basis, we selected the finalists who, on 10.12.2018, fought for the podium in two categories for Contract Logistics and Cross Dock separately.” - explains Grzegorz Kurkowski, Product Manager, STILL Polska - “The final trials, despite the fact that the form itself differs from the day-to-day work in the warehouse, allow for checking the skills in terms of precision, speed, but above all correctness and compliance with the rules, i.e. the key factors affecting work safety.”

Safety of work in the warehouse is of key importance for logistics companies. Studies show that the majority of accidents which occur during warehouse operations are caused by improper behaviours of workers.  That is why Raben Group highly focuses on education and raising employee awareness of the correct and safe behaviours of persons employed in the warehouse and in the office. The company believes that prevention and relevant knowledge work best and it is an element inscribed in its SHE (Safety, Health and Environment) philosophy.

The contest is also an excellent Employer Branding tool demonstrating that Raben Group is a company which engages employees in non-standard initiatives of an educational character.

“The contest for forklift operators organized every year is a great opportunity not only to check the knowledge and skills of the operators, but also the chance to appreciate the difficult work of the warehouse workers. Not everyone realizes what precision and accuracy it requires. If anyone has any doubts in this matter, let them look at our finalists and try to do what they do.” - said Ewa Mendak, HR Manager, Raben Logistics Poland watching the finals in Gądki.

The winners of the grand finale of the DANCES WITH PALLETS 2018:

Transit obstacle course:

  1. Adam Turaczyk, Raben Logistics Polska, Cholerzyn
  2. Dawid Jastrzębski, Raben Logistics Polska, Gliwice
  3. Grzegorz Mędrak, Raben Logistics Poland, Rzeszów

High level puzzle:

  1. Michał Chmiel, Fresh Logistics Polska, Gliwice
  2. Marcin Połukrad, Raben Logistics Polska, Gądki
  3. Damian Piechnik, Raben Logistics Polska, Chlebnia

Dances with palettes has already become a kind of tradition. This year, the contest involved 50 operators. In the finals, 20 employees competed for the title of the champion in two categories: the cross-dock obstacle course and the high-storage puzzle. The competitors had to perform several tasks, including some quite non-standard, such as placing a table tennis ball in a glass with a forklift.

This year's finals were organized on December 10 in the logistics centre in Robakowo near Poznań, in one of the warehouses of Raben Logistics Polska. Traditionally, the contestants were cheered by other company employees, representatives of Raben customers and the media.


One of the goals of the responsible business in Raben Group is caring for health and safety of employees. The is why the company pays special attention to the SHE philosophy  (Safety, Health, Environment), which builds robust safety culture among employees and subcontractors. For many years now the company has taken a number of educational, informational and training initiatives promoting health and safety both at work and at home. They include the Dances with Pallets contest and also Healthy Week, Safety Month or the latest campaign for drivers Don’t be wild.