Six Health and Safety Dangers Within Food Manufacturing Companies
All food manufacturing processes must comply with health and safety legislation to ensure a safe environment within your food manufacturing company. These guidelines have been written to ensure the health and safety of all workers involved in manufacturing food and any other person who will come into contact with the goods produced.
To meet the manufacturing health and safety policy criteria, food manufacturing companies must be aware of the potential risks in their environment so that these risks can be effectively managed. Professional safety training will help you mitigate these risks, but knowing what hazards could be found in a food manufacturing business is still helpful.
In a food manufacturing business, some goods will likely be stored overhead for efficient and practical use of storage space. Whilst storing things at a height is perfectly okay, it is important that employees are aware that these items are there and that they could potentially fall at any time.
When falling from a height, even the smallest objects could cause injury. Being aware of this risk will help staff to walk carefully through the building and to be alert for anything that might fall so that they can quickly move out of the way. Being aware of this hazard also means that effective control measures can be implemented to prevent injury from occurring.
Food Processing and Packaging Machinery
The machines that are used to process and package food use high amounts of pressure that can be incredibly harmful to staff if they were to be used incorrectly. Conveyor belts also pose a risk to workers as they contain moving parts. Health and safety training will provide staff with the knowledge and skills they need to be able to assess the risks involved in using various types of work equipment and enable them to implement necessary control measures.
Poor Manual Handling
Many musculoskeletal injuries occur in the food manufacturing industry from incorrect manual handling operations. Employees may be required to push heavy loads, carry boxes, stack containers or package products. Whilst these tasks may seem fairly harm-free, they can pose a huge risk of injury when done poorly. It is vital that all staff are properly trained in how to handle manual tasks safely.
Slips and Trips
Every now and then, the floors in a food manufacturing building may become wet and slippery from spillages. If these spillages are not dealt with immediately, staff could slip or trip on the spillage. Wet floor signs should be used to inform staff if a spillage occurs so they can avoid the hazard until it has been cleaned up. Why not check out our Slips and Trips eLearning course?
Moving Vehicles or Objects
Vehicles are commonly used in the food manufacturing business to transport goods from place to place. When used safely, these vehicles pose no problem to the workplace; however, if used unsafely, employees could be struck by a moving object or vehicle. This could cause serious injury. Health and safety training will highlight the hazards of workplace transport and teach employees how to operate their vehicles safely and how to ensure that goods are moved around the business safely.
Workplace transport-related accidents are the second highest cause of fatal injury in the food industry. The main risks that vehicles pose to workers are crushing, striking or causing an object to fall onto someone as they walk by. It is important that only fully trained staff operate workplace transport and that training is done regularly to ensure that everyone is updated with health and safety practices.