As the UK population grows and the demand on the food industry increases, it is now more critical than ever for all organisations who service the food industry to be aware of the associated risks.
The United Kingdom now has a population of over 66 million people, each of whom needs a balanced and varied diet to go about day-to-day life. With populations only increasing, the demand for food to keep the British public fuelled is also growing.
3.9 million people are employed in the food industry, representing 13% of the total UK workforce. This demonstrates that the food industry is a substantial contributor to the financial success of the country. However, throughout each section of this vast sector, there are a number of hazards that are present to those 3.9 million people that work to prepare their produce for consumption.
Over recent years, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has paid close attention to the mitigation of health risks throughout all sectors. The main focuses being the reduction of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, stress, and lung diseases, with the target of reducing the estimated 13,000 people that die from ill health due to past exposures at work each year.
The HSE also introduced new sentencing guidelines in February 2016 which has seen businesses being fined based on turnover, resulting in much more substantial penalties being handed out over the past 3 years. Coupled with the increase in attention that the HSE is paying to the prevention of ill health, UK businesses are now operating in an environment that does not offer any leeway to an organisation that does not properly protect the health of its people.
"3.9 million people are employed in the food industry, representing 13% of the total UK workforce"
Moyna Merrison, Alcumus Sypol Director, says:
“It has never been more imperative for businesses to have all the correct management systems in place to ensure that their people are not being exposed to the hazardous substances used in their day-to-day duties. Not only is this a moral and legal obligation for businesses, but adequate and proactive COSHH management makes good business sense. The first step is to understand the levels of risk within an organisation, and then implement an effective COSHH management system for ongoing management and monitoring of risk levels.”
Alcumus Sypol has produced an insightful whitepaper, which explores the common COSHH issues that exist in various stages of the food industry and looks at the responsibilities of employers to manage the risks. It also provides practical and easy-to-implement advice on how to reduce these risks, protect your staff, comply with COSHH legislation and make your business safer, healthier and stronger.