The food & drinks industry: Make your workplace injury free

Posted on 21st Jan, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

As you can imagine, the food and drinks industry isn’t short of risk factors that could lead to injury. Manual handing injuries, moving machinery, slips and trips on the floor… We could go on. But did you know that one of the main causes of injury in this industry is falls from a height?

Falls from height actually comprise 20% of fatal accidents in these busy industries, making them the third highest cause of fatal injury. Injuries range from broken bones, right through to the more serious fractured skulls and have a massive impact on work absences.

In fact, absences resulting from a workplace fall from a height in these industries sit at a staggering 230 over-3-day absences every single year! What makes these figures even more frustrating to employers, and those who are affected by falls, is that accidents of this kind are so easy to prevent.

With proper health and safety training and minimising the need to access height, these figures would reduce dramatically.

Common risk factors: Falling from a height

With workplace falls from heights becoming more and more common, the HSE decided to further investigate matters. They did this by analysing 150 falls from height accidents in the food and drinks industry. Here’s what they found:

Places where fall from height accidents occur:

  • Ladders 40%
  • Vehicles / FLTs 17%
  • Machinery / Plant 10%
  • Platforms 10%
  • Stairs 8%
  • Roof / False ceiling 7%
  • Scaffold / Gantry 4%
  • Warehouse racking 4%

As you can see, there are a wide variety of risks in the workplace. Poor use of access equipment being one of the biggest risk factors, but all of the above could be easily managed.

4 ways to prevent workplace accidents

  • Prevent the need to access heights by designing operational processes on the ground level – for example plant and machinery checks.
  • When working from a height really is necessary, providing permanent, safe access options. If you can’t find anything on the market to give you the safe access you need, why not contact us here at Browns Ladders? We can design solutions for any of your access problems. You can read an example of how we designed a custom made solution for one company here.
  • Ensure workplace cleanliness to prevent slips and falls. Many slips on the stairs or on the workplace floor are due to spillages or contamination of food product. Proper footwear, which provides grip, is also important and may be able to prevent some of these slips
  • Ensure all members of staff are properly trained in health and safety and that anyone using access equipment receives the proper training too. We offer a range of safety training courses at Browns Ladders. From Manual Handling, to Working at Heights Training and In House Ladders, Steps & Towers – we’ve got all your safety needs covered.

To find out about any of our services or safety courses mentioned in today’s blog give us a call on 01282 615 517

We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Have you ever suffered a workplace injury after falling from a height? If so, tell us your story in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

    Contact us today

    We're here to help






    Book an inspection today!

    Give us a call today and a member of our helpful team of advisors will be able to get your ladder inspections booked in for you. Call us on 01282 615517 now

    Join our mailing list...