Safety in chocolate

MPA Engineering Pty Ltd
Wednesday, 06 July, 2005


Australian-owned Crest Chocolates has been delivering a range of chocolates and confectionery for the fund-raising, tourism, hotel and corporate world since 1956. Their pure milk chocolates are created at their custom-built chocolate factory at Stafford on Brisbane's north-side. Their fundraising range includes scorched almond, macadamia crunch, mint chocolate, coconut rough and milk chocolate, and the tourist boxed chocolates contain koala-shaped chocolates with a lightly roasted macadamia kernel. The hotel and corporate chocolate range includes single serve mint pastilles, mint leaves, and single and twin chocolate boxes for pillow turndown and special occasions.

Like many companies today, Crest Chocolates must adhere to the strict safety policies and guidelines outlined in the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 and Australian Standard AS 4024.1-1996: Safeguarding of machinery - general principles. With safety in mind, manufacturing equipment at the factory has been upgraded in recent years.

Alan Davis from Crest Chocolates identified that the 1000 and 200 L capacity chocolate vats used in the manufacturing process required safety upgrades. Used for mixing and stirring chocolate, the vats have high torque internal agitators that rotate at a low speed. Due to the high power associated with these agitators, it was deemed necessary to introduce a safety system that would prevent the lids of the vats from being opened during operation.

A safety specialist from MPA Engineering was contracted to install two types of Sick safety switches to the chocolate vats. When the lids are now closed the sensors become activated, and if they are opened during the manufacturing process, the agitators stop immediately.

Pleased with the safety procedures in place at the factory, Alan believes that workplace safety is paramount to the continued safety of staff and the success of Crest Chocolates, and recommends using an experienced organisation for implementing safety systems.

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