Facing up to health and safety challenges in the manufacturing industry

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) will host a conference featuring top speakers from across the manufacturing industry on improving workplace health and safety standards.

Made in the UK - safe steps to success will take place at Thinktank, in Birmingham, on March 18. Its focus will be on case studies across a wide range of manufacturing businesses. Each one will shed light on the approaches and techniques used to protect workforces.

The manufacturing sector, which employs around 10 per cent of the British workforce, accounts for almost one in five notifiable workplace fatalities and reported injuries. Last year alone, an estimated 3.1 million working days were lost due to accidents and ill health.

Nick Ratty, head of manufacturing at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will give the conference’s opening address on key risks facing the sector and how they should be tackled, including the HSE’s thoughts on the effect of its cost recovery initiative on the industry, more than one year on.

Offering a view on how manual handling can be managed through ergonomics will be Neil Shotton, managing director of Business Safety Systems Ltd. He will demonstrate how applying ergonomics in the workplace can significantly reduce the potential for accidents, injury and ill health, as well as boost performance and productivity.

Helen Devery, a partner at Berrymans Lace Mawer Solicitors, will disclose what could happen if you fail to protect your workforce and will update delegates on the latest legal developments facing the sector.

Case studies on the day include: the Lean Academy from Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood Plant - recognised as a centre of excellence for LEAN manufacturing; machinery safety advice from Pilz Automation Technology; managing fleet and onsite traffic movements - NFT; work-related health risks - Premier Foods; Mabey Bridge Limited’s ThinkSafe safety culture programme; and influencing the global agenda through team work - Mars UK.

Rob Burgon, RoSPA’s workplace safety manager, said: “Anyone with a responsibility for workplace health and safety in the manufacturing sector should attend this conference which will refresh people’s knowledge and understanding of legal obligations in order to protect their companies and workforces.

“A vibrant health and safety culture can help to drive other areas of business success, resulting in a more efficient and effective workforce, bringing with it greater employee engagement and creativity. Work-related deaths shatter families and have massive consequences for businesses, communities and society as a whole, so it is clear to see why health and safety makes good business sense.”

For more information about this event, supported by The Manufacturing Institute, visit www.rospa.com/events/manufacturing/ or contact the events team by calling 0121 248 2089 or emailing events@rospa.com.

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