Letter from the Chair

February 2019

I am happy to report that the membership of our group has increased by 34% since my last letter in September, and now stands at 1,739. This is great news and we will always strive to give our members what they are looking for.

We have welcomed another Communications Coordinator to the committee with Mike Evans stepping up and already doing a great job in promoting the work we do, via Twitter and LinkedIn, and together with Doug this is a very important way in which we keep our all our members updated.

In October we had a very successful annual conference with great presentations on leadership, mental health, culture as well as technical updates on such things as the exoskeleton, ergonomic principles and the No Time To Lose campaign. We heard from the three winners of the Food and Drink Awards which focused on culture and workplace design. We have already started work on our 2019 conference with our organising committee well established, and a draft program in place. This year’s conference will be on 1-2 October 2019.

Last week we ran an excellent event focused on a major incident response and the immediate aftermath often called the ‘golden hour’. This event was well attended not only by those from the food and drink sector but also quite a few from other industries which was great to be able to help them. There was good participation in the round table exercises and good feedback from the day.

The Food and Drink Awards 2019 have been launched and all the details can be found on our networks pages. We are also planning a webinar on 14 March2019, focusing on the food and drink award winners and what winning has meant for them. Bookings will open shortly.
There will be a Fire Safety, Response and Recovery event on 26 June 2019 in which we are partnering with East Anglia Branch in their annual conference, together with the Financial Services Group.

Our next safety culture workshop is planned for 27 June and will be held at Jordans Ryvita, so look out for the booking details on our web site. These events are free to attend and provide valuable insights into what other companies are doing to continuously improve their safety and health culture.
We have also started work on a musculoskeletal event for March 2020 in partnership with the Chilled Foods Association, and we will be looking for some good case studies on successful ways in which MSD risks have been reduced practically, which will be published on our network pages.

Industry sector wise, the HSE will be completing their inspection program in Q3/Q4 across 900 food premises, focused on preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders, and control of Asthmagens particularly around flour dust and enzymes. With this in mind, you can find the details of the webinar we held last year in conjunction with the HSE which focused on Respiratory Sensitisers in Bakeries.

With the IOSH website back up and running you will now have access to our group website so watch out for our events and news as well as signing up to our LinkedIn page.

If there is something you feel we are not giving you as a member of our group, please let us know by contacting our Relationship Manager, Julie Littlejohns.

Andy Melachrino