Companies and people working in food manufacturing are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace health risks or face serious penalties.
The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) programme of unannounced proactive inspections for 2018 will review health and safety standards in food manufacturing businesses across the country, with inspections already underway.
The inspections will focus on two of the main causes of ill-health in the sector, currently,
- occupational asthma from exposure to flour dust, being the UK’s second most common cited cause of occupational asthma in,
- cake and biscuit manufacturers
- grain mills
- musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounting for around 20% of reported employee injuries, predominantly lower back pain and upper limb disorders from manual handling activities and repetitive tasks across the sector.
These inspection visits are set to prioritises the reduction of cases of occupational lung disease and MSDs in accordance with the HSE plan, ensuring that measures are being taken by those responsible to protect workers against health risks, stating that there will be no hesitation to use enforcement action to bring about improvements.