DSV distribution centre in Venlo among the top 3 safest warehouses in the Netherlands

We received the nomination, along with two other companies, following an extensive audit by a panel of experts

Operations manager Danny Hendrix invites everyone to see the warehouse for themselves by taking a 'virtual tour'. "Safety is a mindset which not only lowers the number of incidents and reduces damage but also improves quality and boosts productivity," he says.

Get a safe virtual warehouse tour here

DSV narrowly failed to win the award, which was presented today during the 'Dag van het Magazijn' congress for safe and healthy working held in the training warehouse of Dutch shippers’ organisation EVO. However, for Danny Hendrix, operations manager at DSV Solutions in Venlo, clinching the award was not his top priority:
Irrespective of whether we’ve won the prize or not, what really matters is that safety is now embedded within our organisation. Over the past few years, we have succeeded in building a mindset that is not likely to disappear any time soon.
The company’s managers are proud of the Venlo team’s achievement, and so too is DSV client Nutricia. In the 30,000m2 Venlo distribution centre, 150 employees are working hard every day to distribute Nutricia’s medical nutrition products to 42 different countries around the world. "Nutricia places great importance on safety, which was one of the reasons that we embarked on this path at the start of the operation in 2011. Medical nutrition products deserve to be handled in a safe environment. After all, every product that we dispatch is ultimately destined for a patient," continues Hendrix.

Safety pays off

Hendrix is quick to dispel the idea that safety is expensive. "That is the biggest misconception that organisations have. In actual fact, it pays to invest in safety – not only because it lowers the number of incidents and reduces damage, but also because it changes the mindset on the warehouse floor. Employees are happier, more motivated and take a more disciplined approach to their work. That results in better quality and also in higher productivity. Employees learn to look at processes differently and now often make suggestions for improvements."

Safety receives continuous attention in the Venlo distribution centre. It is the first topic on the agenda at every operational meeting. Not only are actual accidents analysed, but near misses are also discussed extensively. Employees have insight into the daily safety performance and can suggest ideas of their own. Hendrix: “A large sign hangs at the entrance to the facility displaying the words: ‘The safest way is the DSV way’. That reminds employees of the importance of safety as soon as they arrive at work.”

Safety is a mindset

In Hendrix’s opinion, the most important thing on the workfloor is mindset. New rules, procedures and technical solutions will have no effect unless employees’ safety awareness changes. But the same holds true in reverse too: the safety awareness will not change without rules, procedures and technical solutions.

"All of those things have to be in harmony. There’s no point in trying to make forklift operators drive more safely unless you also hang up signs and implement a traffic plan. And if you expect employees to keep the warehouse neat and tidy, you need to provide the right tools to enable them to do so," says Hendrix.

Virtual warehouse tour

The safety mindset is no longer confined to Danny Hendrix’s distribution centre, but has since spread throughout the rest of DSV to the very top of the organisation’s management. Other distribution centres are adopting a similar approach, helped by everything that has been achieved in Venlo.

Take a virtual tour of the distribution centre to see for yourself what DSV has done to improve warehouse safety.

Get a safe virtual warehouse tour here 

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