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Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers, ALEM, offers free provisional membership to highlight benefits

The Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers (ALEM) is offering provisional membership of the association, at no cost, until the end of 2015. This will give potential members a chance to see the benefits by receiving all legislation updates, messages and information, as well as attending regular meetings. The provisional membership offer is open to manufacturers and importers of loading bay equipment as well as those offering service, maintenance, installation and other activities.

ALEM Vice President, Andy Georgiou of Stertil Dock and Door Products, says, "Over the next few months, we aim to make progress on a number of issues which will affect the whole industry and are keen to engage with as many companies as possible. These include the proposed new standard, EN1570-2 for lift tables, and introducing a Level 2 NVQ for Loading Bay Equipment, Installation or Maintenance which will be needed in the future to gain access to construction sites following the CSCS card scheme."

The pressures and challenges faced by businesses today are probably unprecedented. Understandably, in such a tough environment, many companies can be tempted to focus on mere survival let alone entertain thoughts of investment, growth and ongoing development. Add to that the near impossibility of finding the time to keep abreast of market movements, new legislation and revised industry standards. All this can be extremely daunting for companies attempting to meet these challenges alone. That’s where an industry association like ALEM can really prove its worth.

ALEM represents the interests of UK manufacturers and suppliers of loading bay equipment, including dock levellers, scissor lifts, tail lifts, loading ramps and vehicle restraints, to UK government, the Health and Safety Executive, the British Standards Institution and all other relevant organisations.

The Association provides cost-effective, tangible benefits to its members by keeping them informed on a wide range of issues which have a direct impact on their business. These include; existing, new and proposed legislation as well as the development and amendment of the technical standards which help manufacturers design and supply a safe and compliant product to the market. Regular meetings provide an opportunity for members to discuss all the issues and concerns faced by their business with industry colleagues, sharing their experience and expertise.

One of the Association’s main aims is to make both industry and end users aware of the standards and regulations that must be followed in order to meet current UK and European legislation. Armed with this knowledge, and with the full support of the Health and Safety Executive, ALEM members are also much better placed to counter the threat of cheaper, non-compliant, inferior and potentially unsafe equipment that can find its way to market from non EU countries and, worryingly, from some UK companies that do not follow the rules. To become and remain a member of ALEM, a company must be committed to complying with the relevant European standards, the UK Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations and all other current legislation.

As a member of the British Materials Handling Federation, the Association works with other UK materials handling associations towards a common goal for this industry sector. The BMHF is also a member of FEM, the representative European industry body for the materials handling industry. This gives ALEM members immediate access to developments in Europe, as well as the chance to influence decision makers in Brussels for the benefit of the UK industry. Indeed, dock levellers, lift tables and vehicle tail lifts are included in an FEM product group made up of manufacturers from different EU countries, allowing ALEM members to meet with industry colleagues throughout the EU to discuss and agree a common position on any issue, as well as to develop guidance documents and, again, to network with their European colleagues and competitors.

ALEM members represent the Association at the British Standards Institution (BSI) and European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) committees which write the technical standards relevant to compliance with the EC Machinery Safety Directive, 2006/42/EC. Information is fed back to all members who then have a chance to comment or to meet and discuss developments. In this way the Association offers support, technical expertise and an unrivalled position within the industry, both in Europe and at home. A current issue is the development of a new EN1570 Part 2 for lift tables where ALEM, through the BSI, is fighting to get a final standard that does not compromise or add significant cost to businesses.

In essence, what ALEM offers is twofold. Firstly, members can rely on an active organisation that represents, informs and supports them at all times. Secondly, members’ customers also benefit from the Association’s uncompromising stance on the quality of products and support services. This means that businesses buying from an ALEM member can be confident that they are dealing with a company that takes its responsibilities seriously, strives to meet the highest standards and, most importantly, values its customers.

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