Bagging bulk materials is a job that if not performed correctly can be very dangerous. Baggers must be aware of the hazards that exist in a landscape supplies yard. Further to which, a bagger must also ensure that they are correctly performing their job so that they do not place themselves or anybody else at risk.
The following precautions should always be taken:
(1) When lifting heavy materials (bags) you must use the correct lifting technique as explained to you by the yard manager.
(2) When you are bagging pine barks and composts you must wear a facemask. The fine fibres that float up from these products can be quite harmful over a long period of inhaling.
(3) When operating any machinery at Bulleen Art and Garden you must be aware of other staff members and the public around you. The greatest number of deaths in the workforce is a result of forklift accidents. You can never be over-careful.
The yard manager will enforce this.
You should notify the Yard Manager if:
(1) You are going away on holidays or cannot come in for whatever reason. Give as much warning as possible.
(2) You are having trouble keeping up with demand for bags.
To a large extent the times are up to you, as long as the job is done. You will be notified when extra bags are needed. Communicate with the yard manager to ensure that he knows when to next expect you in. He can then coordinate other baggers. Minimum interference with the operation of machinery and customer traffic is late in the day on weekdays. This is the best time for bagging, but confirm with the yard manager.
Safety and lifting
The job incorporates continuous lifting. Ask the yard manager to demonstrate proper lifting techniques. Make sure you are sensible; do not jerk when you lift, lift with your legs whenever possible, and if you are having trouble handling the weight, tell us. Bag all products straight onto the pallets, as this saves you double handling the product. (Never leave the fork with a load off the ground or children may play with it). When you have finished operating the fork lift, always remove the key from the ignition and hang it on the hook above the drivers head.
There are dust masks and ear muffs available in the yard shed for you to use. Use them.
Heavy machinery including tractors and trucks will be operating around you. It is important to be wary of your own safety and to try to minimise bagging during busy periods or in high traffic areas.
When you are bagging in the yard some customers will ask for assistance. Your help is appreciated during busy times but during slower times direct the customer to the yard person on duty. The yard manager may also ask for your help from time to time.
Operation of Bagging Machine
The bagging machine is an expensive piece of equipment that must be treated correctly. Do not at any time hit the machine with a mallet or any other blunt object when trying to shift product as this only breaks the welds and dents the hopper.
The following steps should be taken when bagging:
(1) Check which products are running low in the racking and also up in the shop area. Fill the hopper with selected product
(2) Forklift an empty pallet from the bagging racks into position next to the bagging machine. If filling a heavy product you can stack up a number of pallets so that you do not have to bend as far.
(3) Select the correct size bag for the product and check that the stand and rollers are at the correct height. If not, it can be adjusted by placing blocks under either side.
(4) Turn the bagging machine on and set the vibrators to the required level.
(5) If the product destination is the shop, stick on the appropriate identifying labels to each of the bags
(6) Place bag under the shoot, the bagging machine operates via a foot control, fill the bag until it is approximately 50 mm from the top of the bag.
(7) Slide the bag along to the sealer and seal the bag. The sealer also operates via foot control. For best results seal the bag twice. When sealing take care not to melt the bag onto the sealer, if this does occur or the Teflon coating in the sealer becomes damaged notify the yard manager immediately. Continually rotate the position along the sealer bar where you seal the bags to ensure the longer life of the machine.
(8) When the bag is sealed place it in the pallet and repeat the process until the pallet is full.
(9) Wrap the pallet with shrink-wrap and mark onto the wrapping the product name.
(10) Forklift into the pallet racking the pallet for storage until required. When bagging slow moving lines in may be necessary to rotate the stock so that the old bags do not always sit on the bottom of the pallet.
When you have finished bagging for the day it is your responsibility to ensure that the area around the bagging machine is left clean and tidy, always make sure that the bags are in their correct piles and fully stocked. If supplies are running low notify the yard manager. Turn off all machines and return any equipment that you have used to the appropriate places.
Safety at BAAG is more important than customer service!
You will be working in an area where heavy machinery is operating. DO NOT BECOME COMPLACENT BECAUSE ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN AND THEY COULD EASILY DESTROY SOMEONE’S LIFE. Stay well clear of all machinery and trucks. Be extremely careful with the operation of the forklift. If you are irresponsible with machinery you will not be warned before dismissal. When people’s welfare is at stake we cannot afford the luxury of warnings.