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Health And Safety Services in the Food Industry – A Recipe for Success in the Workplace

“An estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420 000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years (DALYs)”. – World Health Organisation (WHO) 

The statistics are clear. Without the proper safety procedures in place, producers in the food industry could be partly responsible for the loss of life. In a work environment where no safety precautions have been taken, it is not only consumers but also producers themselves whose health is at risk. 

In order to have a thriving business, employers need employees. And those employees need to be well taken care of, as well as the consumers who make use of your services. How can you do your part as a managing director or employer? 

 

Get a risk assessment and provide awareness training for employees

 A risk assessment as defined by the Health and Safety Executive is a “step-by-step process for controlling health and safety risks caused by hazards in the workplace.” It involves analysing what in the workplace could pose a threat to someone’s health or safety, giving you a better idea as to what the necessary precautions are to mitigate or completely remove that threat. As an employer you might be wondering what all is involved in having a risk assessment done. Well, there’s no need to stay in the dark because we’ve got you covered. 

The following is a few things you should keep in mind when considering who should perform a risk assessment, when it should be done and how:

  • Who should perform a risk assessment? 

An employer has the responsibility to carry out a risk assessment or to appoint someone who has the relevant knowledge, experience and skills to do so. In some cases it may be necessary to call SML in, whereby we can send in one of our expert H&S consultants to help you.

  • How often should risk assessments be reviewed?

The HSE recommends that risk assessments be reviewed annually. With that being said, a risk assessment should and can be reviewed within less than a year if the controls put in place to prevent risks have become ineffective or if there are changes in the workplace that could lead to new risks. 

  • What does a risk assessment look like? 

A risk assessment can be a document containing a simple record of:

  • Who might be harmed and how
  • What you’re already doing to control the risks
  • What further action you need to take to control the risks
  • Who needs to carry out the action
  • When the action needs to be taken

 

Awareness training is used to help employees gain an understanding of how vitally important it is to take measures to protect employees in the workplace and to encourage others to do so. After awareness training, employees will be fully aware of:

 

  • Why it’s so important to prevent accidents
  • What health and safety laws apply to them
  • How their role fits into the control and management of the site
  • Risk assessments and method statements
  • How to ensure safe performance at work as well as how to ask for advice
  • How to report unsafe acts that will prevent accidents

 

Business owners, employers and managers – You can make a difference

The training and guidance provided by Health and safety services can be like a recipe for success, if it’s followed properly. With some help, you can have a share in making the workplace a safer and happier environment, protecting both employee and consumer health.

 

References: 

https://books.hse.gov.uk/article/654604/MSD-Assessment-Tool/MSD-Tool-Frequency-of-assessments#:~:text=As%20a%20guide%2C%20it%20is,reviewed%20on%20an%20annual%20basis.&text=there%20are%20changes%20in%20the,a%20process

https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/risk-assessment-template-and-examples.htm

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/food-safety

 

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