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Towards a safer workplace

Workplace injuries in the food and drink manufacturing sector have been reduced by 60% since 1990, and there have been considerable improvements in tackling ill health caused by work. But the injury rate is still more than double the average for the manufacturing sector as whole. HSE Inspector Warren Pennington tells New Food Editor Steve Bremer about initiatives to improve workplace safety.

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On average, 27 workers are killed each year in the manufacturing sector as a whole, accounting for almost 20% of all workplace fatalities. The fatal injury rate is higher than the all-industry average, with main causes being struck by objects, fall from height and contact with machinery. The main causes of manufacturing workplace injuries are lifting, handling, slips, trips and falls.

‘A Recipe for safety’ was a successful joint initiative between the main food and drink trade associations, unions and HSE that was launched in the early 1990s to reduce injuries and ill health caused by work in food and drink manufacturing. Originally overseen by the Food and Drink Manufacture Health and Safety Forum, the latest version can be downloaded free.1

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