Food and Drink Industries Group - letter from the Chair

Letter from the chair – December 2019

I am very happy to report that the membership of our group has now increased to 3,013 including 205 student members. This is a fantastic achievement and I am so pleased to see our membership increasing.

All of the members of our committee play a very active role to deliver benefits for our members as well as events and information which helps those outside the food and drink sector as well.

If ever you think there is more we can do or provide you with please let us know by contacting Julie Littlejohns at IOSH.

As I look back over 2019 it has been a busy year for the group, which has included some very successful collaborations with other groups and branches.

In March we ran a very helpful webinar focussed on the food and drink award winners and what winning has meant for them, and therefore could potentially mean for other companies that enter in 2020.

In June we collaborated with the East Anglia branch along with the Financial Services Group to put on a Fire event, focussing on fire safety, emergency responses and recovery.

In the same month we also ran another well attended safety culture workshop at Jordans Ryvita, which we intend to continue with these type of events in 2020.

In July we ran an interactive workshop on workplace stress called ‘Beat it’, focussing on the practical steps you can take to improve how work-related stress is managed in your workplace. We were very pleased that this event was attended by a number of organisations outside the food and drink sector, showing just how important this subject is.

Our annual conference in October was again a huge success with great speakers, fantastic attendance and it is always nice to recognise the award winners.

Looking forward to 2020 we are planning the following :

In Q1 a Safety Culture workshop at Nestle Waters, a webinar focussed on the challenges and solutions around multi-drop deliveries and a webinar focussed on the improvements made by previous annual awards winners.

A musculoskeletal event in April with the Chilled Foods Association, and we will be looking for some good case studies in successful ways in which MSD risks have been reduced practically, which will be published on our group web site. The HSE will also be supporting the event with valuable updates and information.

In June a Confined Space event in Ireland focussed on the risks and practical solutions. In the same month we will also be running an Accident investigation event in collaboration with the London Met branch, which will focus on the practical issues using a real case study and ‘actors’.

Our annual award scheme will open for entries in May and again we encourage anyone in the food and drink sector to send in their application explaining an improvement they have made, whether big or small, which has driven real health and safety risk reduction and they are proud to share with others. The application is easy and the 3 winners are invited to our annual conference dinner and to share their entry.

On October 6th and 7th will be our annual conference and we are already busy planning that, with a focus on learning from others and practical solutions for all who attend to take away with them.

Finally, throughout the coming year we will continue to provide monthly articles for the Food Manufacturer on a different range of health and safety topics.

Our web site provides details of our activities and events and we continue using linkedin and twitter to keep your updated, with Mike Evans our Communications Coordinator promoting all our events on social media.

To close 2019 it only remains for me to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Safe and Healthy 2020.

I look forward to meeting many of you during our network events and conference next year.

Andy Melachrino