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Health and Safety Committee

Dairy UK's Occupational Health and Safety Committee is open to all members. The group is responsible for determining industry policy on occupational and health and safety matters, along with promoting best practice.The Committee is unique among industry by combining health and safety debate with a strong occupational health profile.

2014 Health & Safety Conference

The Committee meets four times per year at Dairy UK’s offices, and is chaired by Dougie Gardiner of Robert Wisemans & Sons Limited. Current hot topics include the collection of industry accident incidence statistics, continuing close liaison with the Health and Safety Executive, and working to reduce industry accident rates, specifically in the areas of manual handling, back injuries and slips, trips and falls.

Dougie GardinerThe Occupational Health and Safety Committee is currently working on production of industry Guidelines for the Safe Handling of Milk Roll Containers.

Dougie Gardiner (pictured), Occupational Health & Safety Committee Chairman

The Committee regularly collates industry accident statistics, and the most up to date information indicates an accident (Riddor) incidence rate of 28.3 per 1,000.

 

According to industry figures and the HSE, the most common causes of accidents in our industry are:

  • Slips on wet or contaminated floors.
  • Manual Handling.
  • Falls from height.
  • Workplace transport.
  • Struck by objects.
  • Food processing and packaging machinery.

Dairies may also be interested in the HSE inspection priorities for 2010/11 in the Food and Drink Manufacture Sector.

In addition to reactive work investigating injuries and complaints, HSE inspectors visiting factories during 2010/11 will be examining the management of health and safety and, in particular director/board level leadership and worker involvement.

Other topics which inspectors may enquire about to build up an adequate picture of standards in the premises are:

  • migrant workers and other vulnerable workers
    good management practice and compliance with legal responsibilities;
  • risk management
    competent management in terms of basic, sensible and proportionate health and safety also competency of any health and safety consultants contracted;
  • musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
    whether tasks causing high risk of manual handling injuries and consequent ill health have been addressed, including awareness of upper limb disorders (ULDs) and use of available tools such as the ART tool for assessing repetitive injuries;
  • slips and trips
    management of control measures such as floor specification, cleaning procedures and shoe selection to prevent injuries caused by slipping on food products, wet floors etc.
  • machinery
    for example compliance with Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations and safe maintenance procedures (ten fatalities in the past 8 years in food manufacture result from failure to isolate and lock-off large machines before workers gain entry);
  • noise and vibration
    good practice in controlling noise and vibration, including health surveillance;
  • moving heavy loads
    moving heavy loads involved 73 fatalities in manufacturing between 2003-2009, such as loading/unloading vehicles, working under/adjacent to supported heavy objects, manually moving or supporting heavy objects;
  • workplace transport
    segregation of vehicles and pedestrians, safe reversing procedures, traffic management systems, effective signage, training;
  • falls from height
    preventing falls from height by using appropriate equipment and safeguards;
  • occupational asthma
    prevention of occupational asthma from flour and other dusts.
  • dermatitis
    prevention of control of dermatitis caused by contact with food products, cleaning agents etc by elimination of the risk where possible, skin checks, hand-care regime and correct glove selection and use;
  • workplace temperatures
    risk assessment for high and low workplace temperatures (e.g. in bakeries and chilled/frozen products)
  • LPG installations/pipework
    inspection to ensure sound LPG tanks, valves, regulators and pipework with pipework replaced where required;
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