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HSE issues updated guidance for food manufacturing industries

HSE InfoLine : 25 October, 2005  (New Product)
The Health and Safety Executive has published a new edition of its guidance for food manufacturing industries, A recipe for safety: Occupational health and safety in food and drink manufacture. This publication provides practical advice for management, supervisory staff and workers' representatives in the food and drink manufacturing industries. It also aims to increase understanding of the injury and ill health picture in these sectors and to stimulate awareness of priority areas for attention.
This Recipe for Safety updates and replaces the earlier edition published in 1999. The new edition has expanded chapters on occupational health and sets out benchmarks for both occupational health and safety risks. Member organisations and expert advisers of the Food Manufacture Health and Safety Forum contributed to and reviewed the publication, making it a truly joint HSE/food industry booklet involving both trade organisations and trade unions.

The booklet identifies the priority health and safety issues that require risk assessment and management in order to reduce injuries and occupational ill health. These include:

manual handling and musculoskeletal injuries
workplace transport
falls from height
slips and trips
occupational dermatitis
occupational asthma
noise-induced hearing loss, and
work-related stress.
The booklet also contains useful guidance on why it pays to manage health and safety, an action plan for management, and guidance on managing safety hazards and occupational health priorities.

Dr Roger Nourish, Head of HSE's Agriculture and Food Sector, said: 'This guidance will greatly assist the food and drink industries in managing health and safety priorities. It draws together into one book a lot of useful information from previous HSE publications and from practical industry experience.

'Although food and drink is processed in a strictly controlled environment, it would be wrong to perceive these industries as 'low risk' in terms of the health and safety of employees. Food processing operations can be very hazardous.

'Positive action is needed to continue to improve the overall health and safety performance in the food and drink industries. Effective management of occupational health and safety is essential to sound business management. Many companies have good health and safety records, suggestions in this booklet reflect their good practice. In other companies this positive management culture needs to be developed and this guidance will assist.'

A recipe for safety will be issued free to delegates attending this year's fully booked 'Occupational Health and Safety in the Food Industry' conference in Chipping Campden on 26 October 2005. The conference will include many of the issues highlighted in Recipe for Safety. Elizabeth Gyngell, Head of HSE's Better Health at Work Division, will give the keynote presentation on occupational health priorities.

Copies of A recipe for safety: Occupational health and safety in food and drink manufacture, HSG 252, ISBN 0 7176 6115 6, price 9.95 can be ordered online at and are also available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, Tel: 01787-881165 or fax: 01787-313995.
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