A recent survey has revealed that the main causes of major injuries to workers in the UK food industry are slips and trips, manual handling and falls from height.
According to the study by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Food and Drink Group (IOSH), there were 125 major injuries and 584 over-three-day injuries across 30 companies in 2013/14.
Around half of the major injuries were as a result of slips, trips or falls on the same level, while one in five major injuries were also as a consequence of either manual handling or falls from height.
However, the group’s annual Health and Safety Benchmarking Survey did reveal a decrease in total lost time accidents and the overall over-three-day accident frequency rate.
“This survey is invaluable to safety and health practitioners working in the food and drink industry as it enables benchmarking of a site’s accident frequency rates – figures which are not available from the HSE,” explained John Boyle, Chair of the IOSH Food and Drink Group.
“Pleasingly this key metric – the number of over-three-day accidents per 100,000 hours worked – has fallen since the inception of the survey in 2010/11,” he added. “This falling trend correlates with the HSE’s own published figures about safety and health in the sector but the level is still too high.”
The survey also provided an insight into the type of work-related health disorders being reported by employees in the food and drink manufacturing sector.
It revealed 295 cases of disorders relating to mental wellbeing in 2013/14, an increase on 124 instances in 2012/13. There were also 292 back injuries and 201 work-related upper limb disorders in 2013/14 – down from 301 and 272 respectively the year before.
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