Packaging Machine Safety and Mitigating Risks in the Food Industry

Introduction to Packaging Machine Safety

End of line packaging machines play a crucial role in preserving food items, reducing labour costs, and enhancing branding and marketing efforts. However, failure to prioritize packaging machine safety can lead to severe consequences. This includes life-altering injuries and hefty fines. This article will explore the importance of packaging machine safety, the risks associated with inadequate safety measures, and strategies for mitigating these risks.

 

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The Risks of Inadequate Machine Safety

While packing machines have many advantages, putting safety last can have dire repercussions. For instance, a company was fined £800k after two workers lost fingers in bakery accidents due to inadequate guarding on conveyors. 

Another company was fined £800k after two employees suffered life-changing injuries when their limbs were caught in machinery with inadequate guarding. Machine operators can suffer life-changing injuries due to poorly maintained equipment and lack of training.  Incidents like these highlight the importance of implementing and maintaining robust safety measures to protect workers and prevent accidents.

Mitigating Risks in Packaging Machine Safety.

Investing in safety-focused technologies and practices is crucial to mitigate risks associated with packaging machines.  

Implementing safety guarding:

Properly guarding machinery can prevent workers from accessing dangerous parts, reducing the risk of injury. The machine guarding handbook states safeguards are essential for protecting workers from needless and preventable injuries.

Regular inspections and maintenance:

Regularly inspecting and maintaining packaging machines can help identify and address potential safety issues before they lead to accidents. Preventative maintenance can reduce maintenance costs from 15 % to 98 % and the return on investment is, generally, estimated to be favorable (DS Thomas, 2018)

Automation:

Implementing more automated machinery can free up workers from manual packaging activities. One study analyzed the reduction of ergonomic risk through the implementation of automatic tape packaging. The results showed improvements in ergonomic risks changing from the intermediate level to low, consequently, less harmful to human physiology. At Record Packaging, we offer automated machines such case tapers, pallet wrappers and shrink wrappers.

Training and education:

Providing workers with comprehensive training on machine operation and safety procedures can help prevent accidents and ensure that employees are equipped to handle emergencies. At Record Packaging we offer training programs to ensure labourers are competent in operating machines and also know how to use them safely.

Training and Learning

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