Chair's Update

June 2017

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

It continues to be a challenging time for the sector, the election and Brexit continue to cause uncertainty and many food and drink businesses a feeling the impact of labour shortages.


A Common Strategy for Improving Health and Safety in the Food and Drink Manufacturing Industries has been launched by the Food and Drink Manufacturing Forum.

IOSH has also developed WORK 2022, a new five strategy. The IOSH Food and Drink Industries Group fully supports this strategy and we will be reviewing our own strategy to ensure it supports these three key strategies.

Member Survey

We recently conducted a survey of membership, many thanks to all those who completed the questionnaire. This valuable information will be used to improve the services and events we provide, many thanks.

Benchmarking Survey

An in-depth survey of the food and drink industry has been conducted in conjunction with the food and drink manufacture health and safety forum. It captures health and safety data reported in 2014/2015, data was supplied by five trade associations representing more than 120,000 employees, 30% of the UK total food and drink industry workforce.

The survey revealed that:

  • There were 99 specified injuries
  • Over 816 over 3 day injuries
  • The data had an accident frequency rate of 0.34 over 3 day injuries per 100,000 hours

The survey revealed improving downward trends in 3 day injury and specified injury data.

Common issues recorded, in relation to health:

  • Mental wellbeing
  • Work related upper limb disorders
  • Back injuries
  • Occupational dermatitis

The survey will produce an excellent comparison, that can be used when looking at your own businesses performance.

A copy of the latest survey can be obtained by emailing


The group continues to improve the content on its website, and this is supported by increasing statistics. The website is the best place to see our latest events and see any news or articles we produce.


The group is regularly running culture change workshops, a prime opportunity for the industry to engage and share with stakeholders of all sizes. The events are proving very successful, with excellent feedback, often oversubscribed.

Please book early! I would like to personally thank the Littleport Mushrooms and Greencore who have committed to visits in 2017. We are always looking for more companies to host and showcase their journey in relation to culture change. Please contact the group if you can help.

An occupational health event “Occupational health - prevention and control” is scheduled for 06 September this year. It has an excellent and interesting agenda. This event will feature specialists and industry representatives that will provide their expert opinions and practical experience on several topics.

The national food and drink manufacturing health and safety conference 2017, dinner and international awards will be held this year on the 10th and 11th October. The event programme is finalised, booking information can be found on the website. We are very pleased to have some excellent speakers, including Rory Underwood, Dr Matthew Penrose, Kevin Rowan and Louise Taggart to name a few.

International Food and Drink Awards

The International Food and Drink awards will be presented at this year’s conference October on 10-11 October 2017. If you have a practical solution that has shown success, it doesn’t need to be big, expensive or a complex solution. Please get involved and submit an entry into the International Food and Drink Awards, celebrate and share your success stories.

Closing date for entries is the 03 July 2017, submit your applications soon!

More details can be found on the website or please contact the group if you have any questions.

Many thanks,

John Boyle
Chair – IOSH Food and Drink Industries Group