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Helping the MOD be safe and compliant

Since 2015, the MOD has relied on Kuehne+Nagel to provide safe and compliant heavy lifting services and storage and distribution of specialist items, across numerous sites and 5 million square feet of specialist warehouses, throughout the UK.


UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)


Government & Defence


The introduction of Safe Systems of Working practices, ensuring all Heavy Lifting operations comply with regulations, British Standards and Codes of Practice.

A full audit and risk assessment of all heavy lifting operations

A change programme to realign working practices, to industry standards

A safe, legally compliant and agile methodology

The MOD’s logistics, commodities and services division provides procurement and inventory management of commodity items – including food, medical and general supplies, as well as storage of non-explosive inventory - and distribution of freight services for all defence equipment and support inventory, including munitions.

In 2015, Kuehne+Nagel was appointed to handle all storage and distribution of these items as well as safe and compliant heavy lifting services for items, ranging from vehicles, aircraft and marine engines, plus generators, turrets and radar equipment.

New ways of working

At the outset, Kuehne+Nagel completed a full audit and risk assessment of all heavy lifting operations and initiated a change programme to realign working practices, to meet current industry Standards, Codes of Practice and internal policies.

A management structure was in place in three months, ensuring clear roles and responsibilities for appointed persons, crane supervisors and operators.  New starter and refresher training increased the number of fully trained and competent persons in this area.

A crane instructor was also appointed to create training materials and train crane operators and slinger signallers.  A safe working and engineering testing system, inspection and certification was also adopted to complete periodic exams of all lifting accessories, to meet legal requirements or LOLER.

Still going strong

Kuehne+Nagel has retained the high standards set as the contract started.

It provides up to 1000 warehousing staff using well over 100 specialist pieces of mechanical handling and heavy lifting equipment to meet the complex and multi-functional needs of the contract. This is achieved in the warehouse environment via cranes and during delivery via core fleet services and, when required, via the management of specialist contractors.

This requires multiple combinations of different lifting devices and accessories, such as overhead cranes and forklift trucks, and off-site contract lifts using sub-contracted services and mobile cranes.

At all times, Safe Systems of Working are essential to safeguard personnel and maintain the integrity of every item.

Raising the bar

Kuehne+Nagel has worked extensively to ensure that all relevant regulations, standards and Codes of Practice are used to guide our operational ways of working. The checks and balances in place are routinely enforced and the contract is compliant with all relevant regulations and legislation for the UK and international movements, including:

  • LOLER Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

  • Appointed Persons, Supervisors and Operators – persons holding roles and responsibilities as defined by LOLER, British Standards

  • BS7121-1-2016 (General & Annex A)

  • BS5744 (Code of Practice for Safe Use of Cranes) including overhead/underhung, travelling and Goliath cranes, high pedestal and portal jib dockside cranes, manually-operated and light cranes, container handling cranes and rail mounted low-carriage cranes
  • HASWAR (Health and Safety at Work Act Regs) Section 2
  • Health and Safety Executive Guidance L113 (sets out how to comply with LOLER – safe use of lifting equipment)
  • RAMS (Risk Assessments and Method Statements)
  • Safe Systems of Working - procedures that result from a systematic examination of a working process, that identifies hazards and specifies work methods

Continuing to strive

To maintain efficient ways of working, we continually review our working practices.

All lifting operations are subject to risk assessment and method statements (RAMS) being routinely completed, alongside defined ways of working for all off-site contract lifts - including the necessary site surveys, and planning and inductions for contractors working on sites.

There is a safe, legally compliant and agile methodology in place so that we can proactively and reactively respond to the MOD’s requirements for lifting operations. 

And we have an ongoing sustainable programme of training, development and investment in people.