MPF/SPF expansion well underway
The expansion of Australia Post parcel facilities in Melbourne(MPF) and Sydney (SPF) to create space for new parcel sorting and handling equipment is well under way.
Following factory acceptance testing conducted at Vandelande in the Netherlands the new sorting system has been manufactured and shipped to Australia. Installation of the new equipment commenced end of February this year.
There are 8 main workstations proposed for MPF and SPF including:
- singulation (positioning parcels in single file, replaces current face up function),
- manual in feed of parcels not automatically inducted into the system by the inverters,
- loose load, loose unload of trucks,
- indirect load (manual bull rings where parcels loaded into ULDs),
- direct load (parcels are directly loaded by sorting equipment into ULDs),
- bar code relabelling, and
- non-machinable workstation (for parcels that are too big, small heavy or need to be placed on tray before induction into the sorter).
Some of the issues around the workstations include:
- The weight limit for each workstation with the independent ergonomist determining that it is acceptable for operators to lift up to 16kg provided such lifts are infrequent. What’s infrequent you ask. It is not defined. Clearly we will need to monitor parcel weights.
- Parcels greater than 16kgs at the bull ring outlets. Australia Post says it will be a two person lift with additional scan to confirm that a second person is present and available to help. Pick and pack trolleys will be available to assist sorting heavy parcels. We have said that vacuum lifters should be considered.
- Lifting parcels from below knee height onto the conveyor in the manual load area and loose unload process. Vacuum lifters to assist.
- Work rotation arrangements. Maximum duration for all tasks should be no more than 2 hours.
- The possibility of seated work at some workstations such as barcode relabelling station.
- The fixed height of workstations. Shorter statured people may be at risk. We have said that some sort of height adjustability should be considered.
The CWU Divisional Office continues to meet with Australia Post to discuss these and other issues. Local union/management working groups have been set up at MPF and SPF to deal with specific site issues. Members can contact us via email or website below if they need help.