New trade show addresses safety

The lifting, loading and shifting of materials is the number one cause of injuries to workers in New South Wales. Now, a new trade show dedicated to making materials handling safe and efficient will provide thousands of solutions.

Sydney Materials Handling, co-located with The Safety Show Sydney, will run from October 24 to 26 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

Around 50 exhibitors will showcase materials and manual handling products and services, encompassing everything from automated storage and retrieval systems, through to robotics and voice recognition systems.

Among the high profile brands will be Caterpillar, Crown Equipment, Hako Australia, Kockums Bulk Systems, Linde Materials Handling, Red Australia, Safetech and Toyota Materials Handling.

Organiser, Marie Kinsella of Australian Exhibitions & Conferences, says that although The Safety Show Sydney had always addressed materials handling, a dedicated event was warranted.

“Materials handling injures around 17,000 workers in NSW each year, costing employers more than $370 million,” she says.

“On the other side of the coin, many of the materials handling technologies can also reap huge productivity savings, so every time you improve materials handling, there’s this double whammy of human and financial benefits.“

“Researchers told us that visitors to The Safety Show knew that only too well and were demanding a greater focus on new materials handling innovations.”

One of those already registered to attend Sydney Materials Handling in October is Alan Dean, state manager, OneSteel Steel and Tube.

“The handling of steel presents a lot of unique safety issues. Its weight, size, length, the bundling criteria and then the hazards associated with cutting it all make handling difficult,” Dean says.

“OneSteel is continually working to reduce risk by removing manual handling from the process and, when manual handling can’t be avoided, we equip our people well with PPE, like Kevlar gloves and sleeve inserts. I’ll be looking for ideas at Sydney Materials Handling that improve both safety and efficiency.”

The technology on show will be complemented by advice from Principal Sponsor, WorkCover NSW, which will deliver 18 workshops during Sydney Materials Handling.

The regulator will offer small business tools to measure safety levels, explain how business can access its programs and invite organisations to join its mentoring programs.

WorkCover’s workshops were extremely popular at The Safety Show Sydney in 2006 and another visitor early to register, Charlie Crist, SME surveyor for Vero Insurance, said WorkCover’s advice and the expertise of exhibitors was a key attraction.

“When we go out to see clients, we take a risk management approach,” Crist says.

“We point out where they aren’t complying with safety standards and laws and then work with them to find a solution. Going to Sydney Materials Handling and The Safety Show will bring me up to date with the legislative requirements and the latest tools we can use to eliminate or reduce risks.”

DHL has approximately 270,000 square metres of warehouse space located throughout Australia, and significant volumes of materials are handled in these facilities.

“Because the well-being of our staff is paramount, spending a few hours at Sydney Materials Handling to see the latest materials handling technology is important for our business,” says DHL Exel Supply Chain Implementation Support Manager Facilities Gary Murphy.

According to Safety Coordinator Chris Rowney, the Alkathene Plant owned by Qenos produces high quality polyethylene and our plant is quite old.

“The first of four reactors was commissioned in 1957, so there is a lot of heavy equipment and awkward spaces to get around,” he says.

“Our management sees the advantages of investing in safety — we have a world-class safety record — and I’ll be interested in anything at Sydney Materials Handling that can improve safety.”

“We are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to efficiently and safely handle our product,” concurs Sony Australia Warehouse Manager Michael Hobbert. “The Sydney Materials Handling exhibition will give us a good overview of what is currently available in the industry.”

The Safety Show Sydney and Sydney Materials Handling will run from October 24 to 26 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

For more information, phone Australian Exhibitions & Conferences on 03 9654 7773, email or visit

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