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07. September 2017

New site for chemicals storage meets most stringent security regulations

Logistics service provider Gondrand expects to occupy its new site in Moerdijk in Q1 2018. The new accommodation complies with high safety requirements, says Business Unit Manager Logistics Tom Heesakkers, commenting on what started as a Swiss family-run business.

Logistics NL

Gondrand specialises in road, sea and air transport as well warehousing. In the Netherlands in particular, the company specialises in the storage of packaged chemicals, explains Tom Heesakkers. “The rules in the Netherlands are very strict in this respect, and are constantly being tightened even further. We could have opted to upgrade our existing 16-year-old site in Moerdijk, but in the end it proved more effective and future-proof to build a completely new site.”

High standards
Construction of the new premises, five kilometres from the current location, started this spring; Gondrand aims to occupy the site by early 2018. Several fundamental principles had to be considered in the design of the site, explains Heesakkers. “To begin with, the new site will comply with the latest ‘PGS15 guidelines’ for the storage of packaged hazardous and CMR substances in the area of fire safety, as well as occupational and environmental safety. The 17,500m2 site, with 30,000 pallet locations, will immediately give us sufficient capacity to safely and efficiently facilitate our existing and future customers’ growth.”

While the current building is a steel construction with fire-resistant cladding, the new premises will be built entirely in concrete. A conscious decision, emphasises Heesakkers. “Because concrete is inherently fire-resistant. The new building will also have a fire compartment divided into five different temperature zones, allowing us to store hazardous substances in temperature-controlled conditions between 5 and 15 degrees. The design also includes a number of small compartments where goods that are difficult to segregate can be stored, including a room where we can safely take product samples.” Heesakkers goes on to explain that Gondrand will soon be able to store various ADR-classified and related goods, as well as commercial merchandise. “With CO2 and sprinklers as an extinguishing and fire control system, we are able to store ADR classes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9. Compared with the existing location, ADR 2 (aerosols) enables Gondrand to offer a wider range of services.

Central location
Did Gondrand consider moving away from Moerdijk? Not really, reflects Heesakkers. “We looked at other spots in West-Brabant, but Moerdijk has it all: good access via road, barge and rail in combination with a central location. It was also a deliberate decision not to change our employees’ commute too much.”

Safety at all levels
These are the same employees who play a key role in Gondrand’s safety programme, emphasises Heesakkers. “Safety is not just a question of a safe site. At least equally important is that people have safety in mind and that it plays a conscious part in all their day-to-day activities. It’s with good reason that we regularly come together to discuss specific safety issues, at all levels from the shop floor to management.” Employees are also involved in the construction of the new building, says Heesakkers. “We carry out risk analyses with them. Because safety is ultimately not about people doing things because that’s what they’re told to do. It’s about wanting to work safely. The combination of an enormously safe site, and a high level of safety awareness, will ensure we continue to set the safety standard in the decades to come.”

Interview in Regioinbedrijf

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