Recipe for safety

The Groups' activities reflects the strategy set out within the HSE policy document 'Recipe for safety' plus a number of other high priority subject areas.

The Recipe for safety campaign started in the early 1990's following the Health and Safety Commission's concern that injury rates in the food and drink industries were too high.

At the time the HSE worked with the Food and Drink Federation and with the industry trade unions to develop guidance on the key safety and health hazards across the industry. In 2004, the reach of the campaign was extended to include all the main trade associations and the IOSH Food and Drink Group through the formation of the Food and Drink Manufacturing Forum.

The Forum has agreed a Common Strategy to deliver on key Recipe for Safety priorities which include a targeted reduction in ill health and injury and evidence of systematic approaches to tackle MSDs, slips and trips and occupational ill health.

The campaign has been a success. In the 25 years since it was launched the rate of reportable injuries has been reduced by over 60 per cent and there have been major improvements in work-related ill health. But the fact remains that the injury rate is still well above the manufacturing average and there are 12 issues which account for 96 per cent of injuries and occupational ill health:


manual handling

workplace transport

upper limb disorders

work at height

occupational dermatitis

entry into silos and confined spaces

occupational asthma

slips and trips

noise-induced hearing loss

struck by objects and knives

work-related stress

The latest version of the Recipe for Safety guidance was totally overhauled in 2015. This time the work was done by HSE working with a group of experts from the Food and Drink Manufacturing Forum, including several members of the IOSH Group. So it really is practical guidance based on industry experience and knowledge. There are short sections on each of the 12 priority hazards with check-lists, case studies and links to more detailed advice. There is an increased focus on work-related health hazards which ties in with the aims of the new Health GB Work Well strategy launched this year by HSE.

Recipe for Safety is an essential tool for anyone in the industry who wants to tackle the main safety and health hazards.


Disclaimer: The information and opinions expressed on this webpage are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).