occupational health
28th December 2015

Recent statistics published by the HSE show that nearly 5% of employees within the food and drink manufacturers sector suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work.

The leading causes of ill health are listed as follows;

  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Stress
  • Occupational asthma and rhinitis
  • Occupational dermatitis
  • Noise induced hearing loss

Employers throughout the UK should recognise that health is as important as safety, and work to ensure that they are managing occupational health risks appropriately. The HSE released a guidance document earlier this year identifying a potential for work in the food and drink industry to cause long term ill health.

Danny Clarke Head of Occupational Health and Safety says “Whilst food businesses should already be aware of the regulations requiring employees to be excluded from food areas if there is a possibility of their ill health causing contamination, proactive employers need to recognise that they need to do more. They should have programmes in place that manage returns to work and sickness absences as well as considering the impact of their activities on the long term health of their employees.

There are legal as well as moral duties on employers to manage risks on site; this includes those derived from noise, and dust as well as psychosocial pressures from customers and the working environments. These do not need to be unnecessary burdensome but can be straight forward and easy to implement.”


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