During ’09/10, serious injuries numbered 5,041 in an industry that employs in the region of 440,000 people. This was a reduction of 166 from the 2008/9 figure of 5,207.
Food & Drink Federation (FDF) director of HR and competitiveness Angela Coleshill said: “Every injury, however minor, can have a serious impact on the individual, their family, colleagues and employer. The progress in reducing accidents is due to the sector sharing best-practice and implementing this in everyday working. Most food and drink manufacturers have in place behavioural safety policies to prevent accidents and injuries, enforced by strong leadership, which places health and safety at the top of the agenda.”
Despite being the seventh consecutive year of reductions, more significant is the overall figure that shows the extent of reductions in the rate of injuries since 1990. The reduction – which has now hit 50% – is one of the biggest improvements seen across all industries. The data was collected by the Health and Safety Executive.
The FDF’s own survey has also revealed that the trade association’s members are less likely to experience accidents in the workplace. FDF members collectively reduced their total injury incidence by 32% in 2009/10 compared to 2008/9 – 41% lower than the entire industry figure.