HSE to target food manufacturing ill health with unannounced inspections
2 Jan 2018
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will start making unannounced inspections of food manufacturing facilities in a bid to tackle workplace ill-health.
The inspections will begin next week, with manufacturers being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace health risks or face “serious penalties”.
HSE said inspections would focus on two of the main causes of ill-health in the sector. These are: occupational asthma from exposure to flour dust; and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – predominantly lower back pain and upper limb disorders from manual handling activities and repetitive tasks.
According to HSE, exposure to flour dust is the UK’s second most common cited cause of occupational asthma, while MSDs are the most common type of work-related illness in food manufacturing with handling injuries.
John Rowe, HSE’s head of manufacturing sector, said: “The food manufacturing sector is made up of over 300,000 workers and its health and safety record needs to improve. This inspection initiative will look to ensure effective management and control of targeted health risks.
“HSE is calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website.
“Food manufacturing companies should do the right thing by protecting workers’ health; everyone has the right to go home healthy from work.”
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