FDF members recognise that some activities and processes within the food and
drink industry have the potential to cause occupational ill health.
Occupational Health relates to the effects that the working environment may have
on the health of an employee. It also takes into account the influence an
employee’s health may have on their ability to carry out their work.
this two way relationship between the effects of work on health and the effects
health on work is paramount. Occupational Health focuses not only on the
protection of the health of a company’s employees in the workplace and the
of occupational injuries and disease but also on effective and safe
rehabilitation of employees back to work.
Preventing ill health and promoting the health and wellbeing of employees at
work is key but rehabilitating workers effectively back into their normal
environments, also represents a major focus in reducing the burden of ill
health, both on
industry and society as a whole. The focus should be on maximizing people’s
opportunity to benefit from healthy and rewarding work whilst not putting
or others at unreasonable risk and eliminating preventable injury and illness
caused by or aggravated by work.
Occupational ill health may often develop over a long period, whereas accidents
are more immediate and easier to quantify. Nearly 60% of ill-health cases in
food and drink industry relate to musculoskeletal injury caused by repetitive
FDF members have been working successfully with the HSE, HSL and other
organisations to develop guidance and toolkits which are helping to change the
workers operate. Further information and resources can be found on the HSE website.
Mental ill-health such as depression and work-related stress have become more
common both in the food and drink industry and across the whole UK workforce in
recent years. This type of ill-health now accounts for 30% of Occupational
Ill-health in the sector. Tackling the causes of these types of illnesses
challenge for businesses as triggers can stem from factors both in and out of
and are multi-factorial in origin.
Many FDF members have responded by developing health and wellbeing programmes and working with organisations such as the Business In The Community and the Chartered Institute for Professional Development to put in place
structures which help prevent the occurrence of mental ill-health.
Last reviewed: 15 Mar 2013