New EPAL Inspector Completes Training

Ian Owen, EPAL’s newest inspector from SGS is now fully trained and ready to embark on full active duty for EPAL approved companies in Scotland. He joins a team of three existing inspectors in Ireland, North and Midlands/South.

SGS advises ‘The training has been very thorough and has taken the best part of a year. At first this involved shadowing experienced inspectors, then completing inspections for review, and finally completing the year with Ian getting to know his clients in Scotland’.

The rigorous checking process of each partner involves a thorough 40 point check on a randomly selected quantity of pallets depending on the batch size in production, which takes the best part of a day. This includes checks on the materials used, dimensions, and humidity, all conducted by independent industrial engineers.

In general – the quality of EPAL pallets remains very high and it is very unusual for a supplier to fail, as they are aware the standards that they need to work towards. However, in the event that they do – all pallets have the EPAL marking obscured (blacked out), and the inspectors work with the company to ensure that the next batch meets the required standards.

EPAL is widely known for having the world’s toughest quality control of the pallet pools, because it insists that all approved partners undergo regular unannounced spot checks from their independent inspectors – SGS – the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.

Within the UK and Ireland, there are 19 companies who currently meet the strict regulation standards, and have the authority to call themselves EPAL approved companies. These include manufacturers, repairers and traders. Details on each of these companies can be seen online at www.brepal.org.uk.

Mark Tandy (spokesperson for SGS) states ‘SGS is acting in the final consumer’s interest. Customers know that when they receive EPAL pallets, they can reply on the quality and integrity of the pallet – which bears a reflection on the quality of the loaded goods carried on them’.

Given that EPAL is the largest pallet pool in the world, growing by 14% in the UK and Ireland over the last year, and the reported decline in worldwide pallet demand – it is no surprise that SGS reports that all partners have been very keen to work with them to guarantee that their EPAL pallets are fit for purpose.

SGS also performs pallet inspection for the Canadian Pallet Council.

Source: Brepal

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