Food & Drink manufacture is a risky business…
Recent figures reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlight the risks of working in food and drink manufacturing. To summarise these findings, the risk of injury within the industry is almost twice as high as manufacturing industries generally across the UK. The rate of injury is 1,404 per 100,000 workers, with over 5,000 food and drink manufacturing injuries reported to the HSE per year.
The situation is improving rapidly!
In the time since the HSE highlighted the poor health and safety record of the food industry, great efforts have been made by food manufacturers to reduce risk and to improve safety. There has been great success, with overall injury rates dropping by over 50% since 1990. What is more, the number of fatalities per year has dropped from an average of 9 in 1990, to a current figure of 4.
The dangers of workplace transport
Between 2000 and 2010, the HSE reports that 11 workers in food and drink manufacture were fatally injured by work place transport and over 200 people per year were injured by fork lift trucks (FLTs) and other vehicles.
In 2011, in Harwich, a food processing employee suffered a broken leg after being struck from behind by an FLT which was carrying a full pallet. Following a full investigation, it was found that the incident SHOULD have been prevented by using suitable traffic management. What does this mean?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states:
It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
In the instance of the case in Harwich, it was found that the FLT was working in a heavily congested area, with no segregated routes for pedestrians and vehicles. The HSE recommends some simple steps to prevent accidents of this nature:
- Plan safe traffic routes, preferably a one-way system with pedestrian crossing points.
- Keep vehicles and pedestrians apart where possible. This includes both inside and outside of buildings.
- Provide separate doors for pedestrians and vehicles.
- Ensure that speed limits are indicated and enforced.
- Reduce or eliminate the need to reverse vehicles. If reversing is necessary, mark the area as a reversing zone.
(Further information can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/food/transport.html)
How can line marking make your site safer?
As highlighted by the HSE recommendations, there are simple steps which food manufacturers can take to prevent traffic accidents. Line marking is one method which can aid traffic segregation, provide pedestrian crossing areas and create other suitable demarcations.
How can lines be marked?
Masking the lines and hand painting is a very time consuming process for those involved. The paint often takes a long time to dry, leaving the area out of action for extended periods. The durability of the paint tends to be low and will require replacing after minimal use.
Outsourcing to a line marking contractor is a very expensive process where good results can be expected, however as with all out-sourced work, getting an immediate result is not always possible. Furthermore, outsourcing line marking is not suitable for small jobs which could be taken care of quickly and cost effectively by on-site staff.
Using a line marking applicator is a quick, flexible and cost effective method of line marking which can be completed by any member of staff. The paint comes in an aerosol spray form (no more brushing on your hands and knees!) and is applied using an applicator. Applicators represent a one-off-cost as they can be used many times. Paint and applicators come in a standard form but have vast differences in quality and performance.
- How durable is it?
- How quickly does it dry? Less than 30 minutes?
- What are the environmental implications?
- What are the health implications?
- How durable is it? Does it use a traffic grade resin?
- Do you require an NSF registered paint for peace of mind? This is important in an environment where food goods may be present.
- Can it create different line widths?
- Does it use Air Flow Technology to ensure high definition edges?
- Is it simple to use and assemble?
- When not in use, is it protected by a heavy duty box?
- Indoor and outdoor use?
- Can the applicator be adjusted to mark lines which are close to walls and racking?
For further information on line marking using superior quality applicators, please visit our EASYLINE page or telephone 01132 32 2700.