Slip and trip injuries in the food and drink sector account for a significant number of the total injuries recorded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with an approximate ratio of 75% slips to 25% trips. They can be serious and life-changing, resulting in broken bones or worse.
Minimising contamination and trip hazards, together with using a good slip-resistant floor, is key. Organisations need to ensure floor surfaces are cleaned properly, and, where chemicals are used, they are given time to do their job, with anti-slip footwear tested to approved standards worn by those working in the area.
Recipe for Safety
The HSE published its first Recipe for Safety guidance in 2005, which included slips and trips as a key topic. Since this guidance was published, the overall injury rate in the food and drink sector has improved significantly.
However, slips and trips remain a key focus for industry. The Food and Drink Manufacturing Forum – made up of trade associations, trade unions, the Food and Drink Federation, IOSH and the HSE – recently launched an action plan and key performance indicators (KPIs) for the successful management of slip and trip hazards within a food and drink manufacturing company.
Set of measures
The areas covered in these documents include management system planning, control, monitoring leadership and management, and worker involvement. The KPIs are a set of measures that can be used by companies to monitor the success of their programmes to manage slip and trip hazards.
The Forum has asked all its trade association members to sign up to the Common Strategy and submit case studies of good practice where slip and trip risk has been reduced or removed.
- Andy Melachrino is chair of the Food and Drink Industries Group of IOSH, and head of health, safety and risk at Natures Way Foods