Allied Bakeries, part of Associated British Foods – ABF – welcomed members of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) Food and Industries Group to its plant in Stockport.
Marketing Stockport member Allied Bakeries has joined in the IOSH initiative to promote change in attitude to health & safety within the food and drink sectors.
As part of the scheme, Allied Bakeries is among one of the first companies to share their approach to health and safety in a series of workshops taking place around the country.
Allied Bakeries change in culture has enabled the company to achieve a 40% reduction in total accidents, from 769 in 2007/08 to 460 in 2014/15. Over the same period, the number of RIDDOR – Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 – cases fell 75% from 76 to 19, while lost-time injury accidents came down 80% from 127 to 26 across its UK plants.
IOSH identified the need for more practical advice on health and safety culture change specific to the food and drink industry and is giving companies the opportunity to share best practice and their experience of culture change, creating a benchmark for members.
Allied Bakeries is one of three operating companies, which make up Allied Milling and Baking in the Grocery division of Associated British Foods.
Jak Thomas, national health and safety manager for Allied Milling and Baking and IOSH Food and Drink Industries Group committee member, said that the introduction of the so called ‘Safety First’ initiative and related mission and vision in 2005 marked the beginning of the company’s journey:
“The original Safety First mission was for us to become the safest millers and bakers in the UK, with the vision of creating an interdependent culture where people look after themselves and others while they are at work,” said Thomas.
Jak explained: “We benchmarked ourselves against other food companies and tracked progress against historical health and safety key performance indicators. We used the Health and Safety Executive’s climate assessment tool and included health and safety in employee surveys to gauge perceptions of health and safety in the business.
“We introduced leading indicators such as completion of workplace inspections and priority risk audits for measuring line manager involvement.”
This work was underpinned with a continuing health and safety communications and training programme, which included DVD-based accident case studies.