The HSE have started a programme of inspections across the food manufacturing sector, to address workplace health risks, including respiratory conditions and manual handing injuries.
Exposure to flour dust is the UK's second most common cited cause of occupational asthma and 20% of reported employee injuries (RIDDOR ) come from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - lower back pain and upper limb issues.
The HSE aims to encourage employers to implement proper risk control systems, which it believes will go a long way to preventing this type of ill-health.
The inspections started on the 2nd January and the HSE have stated that they won't hesitate to enforce improvement notices, to ensure the correct measures are being taken to protect workers.
HSE’s head of Manufacturing Sector John Rowe, said: “The food manufacturing sector is made up of over 300,000 workers and its health and safety record needs to improve. This inspection initiative will look to ensure effective management and control of targeted health risks.
HSE is calling on anyone working in the industry "to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website".
Food manufacturing companies should do the right thing by protecting workers’ health; everyone has the right to go home healthy from work.”