Government guidance for workers in the food and drink industry designed to reduce the number of accidents in workplaces has been updated.

Entitled ‘A recipe for safety’, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance provides a foundation of support for managing health and safety risk in the food and drink industry.

Aimed at everyone in the industry, including workers, supervisors, managers, directors, health and safety professionals and health and safety representatives, the guidance covers the main hazards and gives practical advice on how to manage the associated risks. It provides a ‘one stop shop’ reference document with links to more detailed advice.

The previous edition was published in 2005 and since the initiative began, the overall rate of reportable injuries in the industry has more than halved. There have also been considerable improvements in tackling ill health caused by work. 

Improving working practices

Darren Seward, food and drink sector specialist at NFU Mutual said: “Despite the great steps made, the injury rate in the sector remains higher than Britain’s ‘all manufacture’ average, and so it is hoped the updated guidance will go some way to improving working practices  in the industry further.”

Reuben Evans, of NFU Mutual Risk Management Services Ltd, added: “We work day to day with businesses to help them implement safe working practices and improve working conditions for their employees.

“Occupational health is a key concern for many employers in food and drink manufacturing and the HSE’s ongoing focus on these matters, in particular their work with the Food and Drink Manufacture Health and Safety Forum is certainly welcomed by the businesses we work with.” 

Inspiring leaders

Occupational safety professionals have the ability to inspire true leadership when it comes to promoting safety and health within their organisations, according to the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

The leader in health and safety training highlights that safety should be built into the general management of a business, and not seen as an afterthought.

It states that professional safety and health managers, properly accredited, have the ability to inspire true leadership in their teams.