In the food and drink industry there is a great deal of manual handling involved. Employers place a lot of focus on reducing the risks associated with lifting and moving large, bulky items. However, it is vital not to neglect the hidden hazards that lie within repetitive tasks, especially those common to workers on the food production line.

Food production line security CCTVFrom cake decorating to stirring cooking pots; from lidding and de-lidding tins to taking food in and out of ovens, handling raw foods to packing sliced meat, the potential injuries to workers’ backs, necks, shoulders, wrists, hands and arms as a result of poor posture and repetition are many. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) often come about due to poor technique, insufficient training and non-specific risk assessments.

Typical injuries on the food production line

Chronic injuries associated with the repetitive moving of food and drink include back pain, sore shoulders, painful elbows, numbness and tingling of the wrists. Acute injuries include back strain, usually caused by handling awkward or heavy loads. Back injuries are responsible for approximately a third of occupational ill health cases in food and drink manufacturing, with over half involving lifting heavy objects. Studies show that the majority of these injuries are preventable.

In recognising the problem and in an attempt to reduce the excessively high numbers of reported injuries and working days lost as a result, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance on moving food and drink, including suggested methods of reducing acute and chronic injuries. Monitoring is key, which is where CCTV becomes the ultimate solution.

Recognising the signs

CCTV cameras installed on the food and drink production line are incredibly valuable in assisting employers in recognising the problems that lead to back and limb injuries and aches and pains. Signs such as low output and frequent rest stops being taken as well as poor posture and incorrect handling techniques can all be detected.

CCTV is also a substantially helpful tool when it comes to undertaking a risk assessment. Employers have a duty to put into practice the most effective solution possible aimed at eradicating or at least reducing the risk of injury caused by manual handling, and the only way of devising these solutions is to conduct a task-specific risk assessment.

Early detection of MSDs is vital in order to treat and resolve them effectively. Live CCTV monitoring will allow instant intervention where breaches of correct procedure are detected, and recorded footage will assist with training and risk assessments. In some cases, particular manual handling tasks will need to be adapted to suit the individuals that are undertaking them. CCTV is an unobtrusive method of analysing these needs.

Expert advice on CCTV from Barry Bros Security

Barry Bros Security has for more than six decades been providing expert security advice to businesses all over London and nationwide. If you are seeking a solution to help you reduce injuries on the food production line, why not talk to us about CCTV? We are here to help with tailored solutions that meet your key objectives.