The importance of safety in the workplace
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The importance of safety in the workplace

  • 20 June 2022
  • By: Esther van der Lelie

Small packages of grated cheese are an integral part of the Dutch kitchen. Everyone knows that grating yourself results in rather greasy kitchen material. Of course this is no different for a professional cheese processor like Tebben Cheese (Tebben Kaas). How do they ensure a clean and safe working environment with grip on the floor? 

The Tebben family in Venlo is cheese. For three generations. Since 1958'. That's how Tebben Kaas introduces its family business on its website. It is the world of Francois Tebben, who as a 16 year old boy was taken out of school to sell cheese with his parents on the weekly markets in Limburg. "That's where I learned the trade." In the meantime, Tebben Kaas has grown into a company that has cheeses produced to its own recipe at artisan cheese factories, specialises in the grating, dicing and slicing of fresh cheese, imports cheeses from all over Europe and produces fresh buffalo mozzarella and mozzarella from cow's milk. Many renowned chains, supermarkets, catering and food companies are customers of the family business. 

The importance of a safe workplace

As a food company, Tebben Kaas must comply with food safety regulations. Francois was therefore pleased with the hexagonal tiled floor in the area where mozzarella is processed. "A 'superior floor' that you can easily spray clean," he says. However, a tiled floor proved unsuitable for the grating room. The cheese used there is fatty and in combination with water it becomes slippery. Therefore, a hygienic, low-maintenance, strong and less slippery alternative had to be found for the grating area. Francois came across DRT Flooring during his search and immediately had a good feeling about it.

Pietjan Dobbelsteen and Francois Tebben

Cast floor with anti-slip

"In a trade magazine I read about an industrial floor with anti-slip from DRT Vloeren in Oss," Francois explains. "We contacted them and it didn't take long to decide on a collaboration." Pietjan Dobbelsteen, together with his sister, owns the flooring company their father once started. DRT is a specialist in seamless floor systems for (heavy) industry as well as for aesthetic applications such as Design Cast Floors.

"We were approached by Tebben with their question: a liquid-tight floor with grip that is easy to clean and safe for employees." Pietjan explains that initially the wish was expressed to refurbish the existing floor, but later it was decided to also improve the slope and adjust the guttering plan. "The final finish had to be a Ucrete floor, a quality floor that adheres well, is strong and therefore durable. A high-quality floor system whose quality is 'up to scratch' and which does not cause any problems later on. We used to sell various types of floors in the food industry. Nowadays, these are mainly Ucrete floors. For years, this has proved to be the stable type of floor that is needed to allow production to run without any problems. We can say that Ucrete is increasingly becoming the standard in the food sector."

The challenge

"The installation of the floor was a challenge because it was a renovation within an existing building. In a new building, you determine the slope, the gutters and the connection to drains and grates in advance in consultation with the client, but now we had to adjust the slope in the existing floor. That meant precise milling and locally applying a thin concrete floor. A method that required extra preparation and attention during the process. In the end, we succeeded in installing the new channels and milling the correct contours in the existing concrete floor. After that, a concrete floor with a slope was applied that connects to the new gutters. After a few days of drying, we applied the Ucrete floor." 

This all worked out in a short period of time, because of the intensive cooperation with Tebben Kaas and because the implementation team was involved before and during the project "The Ucrete application day is always an important one," Pietjan explains, "It is a fantastic product; it requires a well-trained team that knows exactly what needs to be done. You can only do it right once!" 

Positive impact

"I was sceptical because of a previous experience with another flooring company, but from day one DRT showed a professional approach," says Francois. "There was control, the work was super neat and clean, the planning was perfect." He adds firmly: "That was necessary, because we had to plan a production stop, ask our customers for a forecast and run double weeks. That demands a lot from the organisation and the employees. Now the floor has to last 30 to 40 years. Our problem has been solved brilliantly, we are extremely satisfied.
"We did it together in a very enjoyable way," Pietjan concludes.

Photos: ©Bert Jansen Fotopersburo

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2022