Graham Finn, Northern Foods' group health and safety (H&S) director, who supervised the initiatives, said: "We have, through delivery of the improvements, established much stronger control of our property and employer's liability risks. This, in turn, has led to a reduction in our property insurance rates and the basis in which we have our employer's liability cover.
"I am reluctant to quote detailed numbers but we can safely say that we have reduced costs in this area by around 30%."
The company had reduced the number of accidents that caused employees to lose more than three days' work by 40%. And it had more than halved the number of days lost through accident.
"Other benefits include more robust incident capture and reporting efficiency gains through less incident interruption," Finn added. The first step in achieving the results was to establish and maintain robust data by improving reporting procedures and records. After that, Finn concentrated on management training and behavioural change and supervised heavy investment in physical safety improvements, cutting personal safety risk levels and property loss risks.
Richard Morgan, head of the food and drink manufacture section at the HSE Agriculture and Food Sector's operational strategy division, said: "I know Greencore and Northern Foods have achieved massive savings on their insurance through implementing H&S measures."
Demonstrating an ability to cut premiums was also a way of funding H&S initiatives, he said.