Food and drink accident rate higher than construction, says Aviva

Article date: 8 March 2010

Construction is often seen as one of the most dangerous industries to work in. But official figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that people working in food and drink manufacturing are over one and a half times (1.6) more likely to be injured at work than construction workers1.

"Construction has a reputation for being very dangerous," said Brian Wallace, head of Aviva Risk Management Solutions (ARMS). "According to the HSE more people are killed each year in construction than any other industry. Last year alone there were 53 fatalities.

"In the food and drink industry, 33 people were killed in the last 10 years, making this sector look safer where fatality rates alone are considered. However, when you look at the bigger picture - including serious and minor injuries - it's a fact that food and drink workers are more likely to be involved in an accident than construction workers.

“It is this high accident rate that has led ARMS to kick-start a new campaign in 2010 called ‘Safety on the Menu’. Offering free health and safety support to food and drink manufacturers and retailers the menu of safety solutions includes free telephone support.

“There's a range of options in the form of downloadable free guides and ARMS is also offering a free initial consultation from one of its food and drink sector safety experts.”

In addition, ARMS is offering a 15% discount2 off its health and safety training courses for anyone working in the food and drink manufacturing and retail sectors.

All of these offers are available for the duration of the campaign. The "Safety on the Menu" campaign is running until 31 March 2010.

Helen Toll is one of ARMS' health and safety consultants. She has many years of experience working in the food and drink manufacturing industry as a HSE inspector and health and safety manager.

She said: "Some of the biggest safety issues in this sector are slips and trips, workplace transport, manual handling and falls from height. In addition, many food and drinking manufacturing processes produce high levels of noise and serious machinery accidents, particularly during cleaning and maintenance work, continue to be an all too frequent occurrence.

"We're eager to help food and drink employers reduce injuries. These kinds of incidents are costly to employers. Many face litigation, while others count the costs in lost productivity and reputation. Given the economic climate, we want to help customers by providing a bit of free advice to help control such costs."

For more information about the "Safety on the Menu" campaign, call Aviva Risk Management Solutions on 0500 55 99 77.


Press office contact:
Sally Leeman at Aviva on 01603 684225/07789 270677 

Notes to editors:

1 Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (see

2 15% course discount not to be used in conjunction with any other offer – The code FOOD10 must be quoted to secure the discount. 

Aviva Risk Management Solutions UK Limited - the new name for Norwich Union Risk Services - is the specialist risk management division of Aviva that is dedicated to helping UK businesses manage their risks in an effective way.

They achieve this through their national team of approximately 180 staff which includes:

  • Risk advisers and specialists - Who visit commercial properties across the UK to help identify risks and recommend dynamic and practical risk management solutions for Norwich Union’s insured customers.
  • Safety consultants - Who provide expert health, safety and environmental training and consultancy services.

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