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chris42  
#1 Posted : 24 November 2021 10:40:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

At what point does our responsibility for a delivered item end?

 We have an item which is approx. 45 Kg delivered to us from overseas, in a cardboard box in a wooden crate. The card box has some banding around it. When we get the overseas delivery, we remove it from the crate and open the banding and the box to record serial numbers off the item. The box is closed but, not re-banded. The box is not intended as a lifting aid as such (no hand holds etc) more to protect the item.

We then deliver this to a customer, who help us unload it onto their trolly as it is heavy. One or two days later they pick up the box, single person and it falls through the bottom.

My view is that our training covers inspecting any container before making a lift for structural integrity and appropriateness, I would think that of others also include this. Carboard is notorious for getting wet or damaged in other ways and in my view should not be relied upon, especially if the item is heavy. The item is obviously heavy due to the nature of the item, plus as you start a lift you will instantly realise the item is heavy and a trolley etc should be used to move it.

So, my actual question - Would other people consider our responsibility extends after it has left our care? And if we do, for how long after would we hold some responsibility.

We are intending to re-band these items in future for our own employee’s sake, as much as anything, but still don’t feel this should be relied on and some concern that people will try and lift by the banding.

Chris

stuart46  
#2 Posted : 24 November 2021 12:28:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
stuart46

Having worked for a company that delivered large crated items, it was agreed as part of the agreement of sale that we unpacked the items and would take the crates away. I would suggest that the responsibility for future movement of the item and the packaging be made clear in the terms of sale, whether it be yourselves or the customer. As long as there is no defined responsibility it will remain a grey area. Ultimately you need to define the responsibility.

thanks 1 user thanked stuart46 for this useful post.
chris42 on 24/11/2021(UTC)
chris42  
#3 Posted : 24 November 2021 14:44:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Thanks Stuart46, Yes it is a grey area, it is a retail sale, there is no ongoing supply or regular supply.

My thoughts go to - if I was to buy something from a large DIY shop and take it home, then the next day I picked up the box and it fell out, would I consider it the fault of the DIY shop. (I could be any shop, but just an example).

If it had happened at point of handover them ok but the day or so after seems out of our duty of care. It would then beg the question of how long our duty of care should last.

I just hoped others would have come across such issues or point to some form of guidance. I could find nothing though other than weights are not legally required on boxes, all be it nice. Obviously heavy though the moment you try and pick it up, before getting it very far from the surface.

It was worth a shot to see what others ad to say. Thanks to all who read and considered it.

Chris

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 24 November 2021 15:06:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Unfortunately you have a duty of care (a responsibility to supply "safe" goods) which extends to any packaging which you send. As with all liability you cannot contractualy exclude death or injury.

S.I. 2005 No. 830 The General Product Safety Regulations 2005

Your packaging should be designed to meet the criteria of preserving and promoting the content and come with suitable instruction e.g. keep dry, protect from sunlight etc..amongst other UN shipping marks.

You either agree with your supplier the standards and markings for supply or make reasonable adjustment as you transfer ownership to your customer.

TBH in pursuing the serial number you have changed the intended manufacturer packaging and as such should actually have put it back to "as received" before sending it on to your customer.

Why does your supplier not place a sticker on the package with the serial number or provide a cut out in the packaging to view the serial number?

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 24/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 24/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 24 November 2021 15:06:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Unfortunately you have a duty of care (a responsibility to supply "safe" goods) which extends to any packaging which you send. As with all liability you cannot contractualy exclude death or injury.

S.I. 2005 No. 830 The General Product Safety Regulations 2005

Your packaging should be designed to meet the criteria of preserving and promoting the content and come with suitable instruction e.g. keep dry, protect from sunlight etc..amongst other UN shipping marks.

You either agree with your supplier the standards and markings for supply or make reasonable adjustment as you transfer ownership to your customer.

TBH in pursuing the serial number you have changed the intended manufacturer packaging and as such should actually have put it back to "as received" before sending it on to your customer.

Why does your supplier not place a sticker on the package with the serial number or provide a cut out in the packaging to view the serial number?

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 24/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 24/11/2021(UTC)
chris42  
#6 Posted : 24 November 2021 17:45:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Thank you Roundtuit, very interesting. If I had read that legislation before this issue, I would have thought the reference to packaging was the packaging itself being dangerous, ie sharp edges etc. The item was loaded by us on a van, offloaded by them onto a trolley only a day later it became a problem. So, at what point does our responsibility stop for the integrity of the packaging?

What if they sat it on a shelf for a week or two or more at what point can we say it has done its job. The government guidance (not HSE) is as useful as a chocolate tea pot.

Interesting outside of the issue I have so I will continue to investigate this, as surely, we can’t have a duty of care for ever and expecting any cardboard box to hold that much weight is surely obvious it should not be trusted. If I was lifting something heavy (not that heavy) in a box I would have my arms curled under it supporting, it. Oddly we have not had issues with this particular item previously and we have always needed the serial numbers for guarantee purposes. We are unlikely to get anything changed on the packaging.

Yes we altered the packaging by cutting the banding, but I’m not convinced even if we replaced the banding on the box (normal brown corrugated cardboard box) before delivery that would always make it safe ( ie customer lets it get wet or delivered in the rain and take s a while to soak in).

I have always told people in any manual handling training to beware of carboard boxes.

Gosh a lot to think about – tomorrow and thereafter.

Evening all

Chris

firesafety101  
#7 Posted : 24 November 2021 18:56:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

I am not an expert but was the package signed for as delivered and accepted.

I think the receiver has the duty of care to check the package, including the cardboard box and ask for any useful information like the weight of the item.

It would then be the responsibility of the customer.

my opinion.

thanks 1 user thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 24 November 2021 19:45:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

GPSR is just one example - you need to know your product(s) and your market(s).

Absolutely right to question a boxes integrity if it gets unintentionally wetted by rain or humidity - however was the original make up correctly specified for the task?

Fish-box (cardboard laminate) for example can be used to pack & freeze wet fish for transport to market, even when the fish defrosts the box does not collapse due to the mositure.

In chemical supply materials can have a guaranteed shelf life of up to two years along with transport regulations to satisfy (those funny codes of Packaging & Class in Section 14 of a Safety Data Sheet).

In equipment supply manufacturing lead times may result in the customer ordering materials that sit for much longer "on the shelf" - here wooden packing cases are more appropriate.

A general rule of thumb it comes back to how long should/could the goods be warranted to be free from material or workmanship defect - UK legislation sets a general minimum of 12 months, contracts / terms & conditions may extend this.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 24 November 2021 19:45:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

GPSR is just one example - you need to know your product(s) and your market(s).

Absolutely right to question a boxes integrity if it gets unintentionally wetted by rain or humidity - however was the original make up correctly specified for the task?

Fish-box (cardboard laminate) for example can be used to pack & freeze wet fish for transport to market, even when the fish defrosts the box does not collapse due to the mositure.

In chemical supply materials can have a guaranteed shelf life of up to two years along with transport regulations to satisfy (those funny codes of Packaging & Class in Section 14 of a Safety Data Sheet).

In equipment supply manufacturing lead times may result in the customer ordering materials that sit for much longer "on the shelf" - here wooden packing cases are more appropriate.

A general rule of thumb it comes back to how long should/could the goods be warranted to be free from material or workmanship defect - UK legislation sets a general minimum of 12 months, contracts / terms & conditions may extend this.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#10 Posted : 24 November 2021 20:00:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post
I am not an expert but was the package signed for as delivered and accepted

Most materials are shipped by some service nowadays so long gone are the days of the storesman examining deliveries before they are put on the shelf for use.

Even the on-line mob are half way down the path by the time you open the door.

This concept of signed as accepted is a phallicy - if you insist on having "Received in good condition" on your PDA then the signature is alway M. Mouse, if you want to wait you can have muy real name

Roundtuit  
#11 Posted : 24 November 2021 20:00:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post
I am not an expert but was the package signed for as delivered and accepted

Most materials are shipped by some service nowadays so long gone are the days of the storesman examining deliveries before they are put on the shelf for use.

Even the on-line mob are half way down the path by the time you open the door.

This concept of signed as accepted is a phallicy - if you insist on having "Received in good condition" on your PDA then the signature is alway M. Mouse, if you want to wait you can have muy real name

chris42  
#12 Posted : 24 November 2021 20:23:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

The package was signed for by the customer at 11:20 in the morning of the day of delivery, the following day time unknown the incident happened. Yes, we do deliver with our own people, and it was signed for by the store’s person, who used a trolley to take it in, so ken it was heavy. The person lifting and intending to fit it, will have also known exactly how heavy these items are.

The item is warranted for 2 years in use, on a shelf it would probably still be useable in 10 years’ time as it is a big lump of metal with gears inside and sealed, it is a large part, that forms part of a much bigger machine. The packaging is to protect it from having the machined surfaces being damaged in transit.

Still having difficulty with this concept. If something happened as we handed it over or even just after, possibly. However, 24 hours later, not very convinced we still have a duty. However, it would be nice to find out for absolute sure,  but I bet there is not a definitive answer.

However, as I noted previously, interesting to see if I can find out more on this issue and perhaps, I can write up some CPD over the Christmas holiday.

Chris

Roundtuit  
#13 Posted : 24 November 2021 21:42:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Look at your company T&C's, any contract you have with the cutomer AND their purchasing T&C's in this world it is a game of "top trumps" last to play the card has premacy!

By your own admission you are on the hook for a minimum of two years.

Based upon your product description someone has cut corners using a cardboard box - such items are normally packed in wooden cases and wrapped in greased paper to prevent corrosion.

You state the item could sit "on the shelf" for up to ten years - only if you packaged it correctly.

Roundtuit  
#14 Posted : 24 November 2021 21:42:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Look at your company T&C's, any contract you have with the cutomer AND their purchasing T&C's in this world it is a game of "top trumps" last to play the card has premacy!

By your own admission you are on the hook for a minimum of two years.

Based upon your product description someone has cut corners using a cardboard box - such items are normally packed in wooden cases and wrapped in greased paper to prevent corrosion.

You state the item could sit "on the shelf" for up to ten years - only if you packaged it correctly.

Roundtuit  
#15 Posted : 24 November 2021 22:00:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Sorry D'oh moment - You take the cardboard box out of a wooden crate but then only ship the cardboard box without strapping to your customer - think you answered your own question which had you put the item back in the wooden crate....

Roundtuit  
#16 Posted : 24 November 2021 22:00:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Sorry D'oh moment - You take the cardboard box out of a wooden crate but then only ship the cardboard box without strapping to your customer - think you answered your own question which had you put the item back in the wooden crate....

chris42  
#17 Posted : 25 November 2021 12:05:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Sadly, the relationship with the Manufacturer is more complex than who had last paperwork. The item is warranted in use not on a shelf. The part is ordered / manufactured only on request and costs thousands and there is something waiting for it to go on. So would never actually ever sit on a shelf. If it did it would not deteriorate particularly over many years, but it is not an item you would want to keep as a spare. But as I say would not happen, as in this case it was to be fitted the next day from our delivery, and they would normally not wait that long.

The wooden box is a shipping container as it comes from another country and is not ours, so it is sent back.

The 2 year warranty is when it is in use from mechanical defects, nothing more. The card box has no warranty. If we were to remove the box completely and put bubble wrap over the machined connections, should a customer also expect to lift it by the bubble wrap? Do we have to put a sticker on the box to say “not structurally sound, so don’t rely on the box when lifting”? Doesn’t a customer have any duty to check integrity before lifting something.

All new to me and interesting. Thanks to those that have commented.

Chris

Roundtuit  
#18 Posted : 25 November 2021 14:02:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

In shipping goods by pallet you have to consider the load, its transportation and storage.

For many years our company supplied a customer without incident.

The load itself was domed at the top of the pallet making it unsuitable to stack upon.

One day the customer decided to re-arrange their warehouse and where our product would have sat as individual pallets in racking they decided to stagger stack the pallets on top of one another.

Following a load collapse that particular product line now has "Do not stack" labelling on every pallet.

They admitted their various materials handling training told them not to do as they did with the pallets BUT as we had not explicitly told them........ which is why you see the weight advice on many consumer goods you have to cater for every level.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 25/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 25/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#19 Posted : 25 November 2021 14:02:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

In shipping goods by pallet you have to consider the load, its transportation and storage.

For many years our company supplied a customer without incident.

The load itself was domed at the top of the pallet making it unsuitable to stack upon.

One day the customer decided to re-arrange their warehouse and where our product would have sat as individual pallets in racking they decided to stagger stack the pallets on top of one another.

Following a load collapse that particular product line now has "Do not stack" labelling on every pallet.

They admitted their various materials handling training told them not to do as they did with the pallets BUT as we had not explicitly told them........ which is why you see the weight advice on many consumer goods you have to cater for every level.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 25/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 25/11/2021(UTC)
chris42  
#20 Posted : 26 November 2021 09:18:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

Unfortunately you have a duty of care (a responsibility to supply "safe" goods) which extends to any packaging which you send. 

Interestingly the plot thickens as it always does. Yesterday I saw one of these boxes and it has considerably more staples in it than the customer is suggesting and is actually quite sturdy. Interestingly their photos only show a very central section of the base of the box. It is also a very awkward size for a single person to try and lift.

But thinking about the statement above, “supply "safe" goods” the box didn’t fail at point of supply it was offloaded with no issues onto a trolley. It very likely was offloaded from the trolley inside without incident as I would have thought they would want it off their trolley (indeed they must as otherwise they would have used the trolly the following day). So, at point of supply, it was evidently safe enough.

Just an ongoing thought, as I not this topic has had a fair few views.

Chris


Roundtuit  
#21 Posted : 26 November 2021 10:19:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Did the packaging satisfy all the essential requirements?

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/packaging-essential-requirements-regulations-guidance-notes

Page 11 & 12 list performance criteria for consideration in a waste minimisation review.

Further reading avalilable:

https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/miscellaneous/the-composition-and-use-of-packaging

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#22 Posted : 26 November 2021 10:19:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Did the packaging satisfy all the essential requirements?

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/packaging-essential-requirements-regulations-guidance-notes

Page 11 & 12 list performance criteria for consideration in a waste minimisation review.

Further reading avalilable:

https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/miscellaneous/the-composition-and-use-of-packaging

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#23 Posted : 26 November 2021 11:16:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Those guidelines seem to be more concerned with packaging wastage (i.e. too much packaging for a little product, recyclability etc.) or heavy metal concentrations, can't see anything in them about sturdiness of the packaging (unless the "consumer acceptance" is taken into account).

In my humble opinion, from a very basic level this would be covered by section 2(2)(b) of the HASAW etc act 1974 on the part of your customer

arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;

It is up to them to ensure the articles (once in their possession) are stored, handled etc safely, and if they have any concerns they should relay them to you for you to action under section 3(1) of the HASAW etc act 1974

It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.

So basically if you are ensuring your goods are arriving in a safe and healthy manner (SFAIRP) (so no sharp edges, toxic materials etc) then you are fulfilling your duty. The very fact that this packaging has been suitable for you to move around when unloading suggests that it is fine.

As an example, when we deliver goods, it is up to the customer to unload these goods, not us. We ensure they arrive in a safe condition, and if the customer disagrees they are to return them to us, and we make them safe again for delivery.

If this were not the case then it would seriously confuse all manual handling claims. If somebody hurt themself at work, who would they claim against? The company for not ensuring their safety, or the supplier for supplying goods that were too heavy?

Maybe my inexperience has me simplifying this too much?

thanks 1 user thanked CptBeaky for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#24 Posted : 26 November 2021 11:59:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
Those guidelines seem to be more concerned with packaging wastage (i.e. too much packaging for a little product, recyclability etc.) or heavy metal concentrations, can't see anything in them about sturdiness of the packaging

It is saying you should not compromise the various performance criteria in the pursuit of eliminating waste.

It also points out how vast the question of packaging is making it difficult to apply a single standard that fits all even UN standards vary dependent upon intended content.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#25 Posted : 26 November 2021 11:59:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
Those guidelines seem to be more concerned with packaging wastage (i.e. too much packaging for a little product, recyclability etc.) or heavy metal concentrations, can't see anything in them about sturdiness of the packaging

It is saying you should not compromise the various performance criteria in the pursuit of eliminating waste.

It also points out how vast the question of packaging is making it difficult to apply a single standard that fits all even UN standards vary dependent upon intended content.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC), chris42 on 26/11/2021(UTC)
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