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Improving the Layout and Safety Of Raw Materials Storage Facility

FMCG raw materials storage upgrade


British American Tobacco Australia


Bundamba, Queensland

About The Project

British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) had been storing locally grown and imported tobacco in a secure site comprising two very large buildings and five smaller buildings for over 40 years. The value of the raw materials stored was in excess of $50 million.

The stock layout within the larger buildings was somewhat haphazard, having evolved rather than being managed. Egress paths and Exit signs had become inaccessible, unusable and unmaintainable. The switchboards were well beyond their safe life, as evidenced by CNF finding two dead possums inside one of the main boards during the initial site assessment.

The project’s objective was to achieve Building Codes Australia (BCA) compliance and improve safety.

CNF was responsible for:

  • Taking on the role of Owner’s Engineer to revise the stores’ layout, achieve BCA compliance and get sign-off for the proposed works.
  • Designing:
    • Forklift aisles;
    • Egress paths;
    • Locations for new exit doors;
    • Emergency lighting;
    • Aisle lighting;
    • Replacement of all switchboards and site electrics;
    • Extension and upgrade to the site fire hydrant system.
  • Managing the installation contracts and supervising the site works.

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Major Achievements

  • Project was completed within budget and according to the program, even though the stores where at a satellite site, a very long distance away from engineering and maintenance resources.
  • Establishment of a grid pattern of aisles to improve egress. This also improved access to stored product, streamlined forklift operations and significantly improved stock turnover. More floor space was made available.
  • The new grid pattern allowed the installation and maintenance of normal and emergency lights and a smoke detection system.
  • A staged approach to implementing the works meant that stock levels and forklift movements were not impacted during construction.

Project Innovations

CNF initiated and then worked with BATA’s Legal Department to replace previous somewhat ‘complex’ construction contracts with Australian Standard contracts with only a minimal number of special conditions. The previous in-house company contracts had deterred contractors and were difficult to enforce.

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