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Paper industry achieves major safety improvements

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), statistics from the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) indicate a downward trend in the workplace accident rate and significant reductions in major injuries. This improvement in the industry's safety record has been welcomed by the Health and Safety Commission’s Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC).

James Barrett, Chairman of PABIAC and Head of the Manufacturing Sector at the HSE, said: "It is very encouraging to see the positive affect the PABIAC strategy has had on health and safety standards in the paper industry. By continuing our partnership approach between employers, trade unions and HSE, we are confident that there will be further reductions in the rate of accidents across the industry”.

Martin Oldman, Director General of the CPI and a member of PABIAC, added: "The papermaking industry has been working diligently over a number of years to significantly improve its health and safety performance and, whilst more can be done, we are heartened by these results and anticipate further progress throughout the industry”.

Since March 2004, members of the CPI paper- and tissue-making sector have seen a 33 per cent reduction in the number of accidents in their businesses. Major injuries have been reduced by 32 per cent and the number of slips and trips is down by 30 per cent. There has also been a 17 per cent improvement in the number of manual handling accidents.

Members of the CPI corrugated sector have successfully reduced their accident rate by 48 per cent. In the key areas of manufacturing and manual handling, accidents have been reduced by 53 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.

In the CPI recovered paper sector, which only recently signed up to the PABIAC strategy, there was a fall of 25 per cent in major injuries between December 2004 and August 2006.

PABIAC launched its strategic direction statement ‘Making a Difference’, which includes strategic health and safety targets for the paper sector, in April 2005. This document can be accessed via the HSE website.

Pilz Automation Technology has paper industry expertise and can assist companies that are striving to improve their own safety performance, especially in relation to production machinery. Services offered include plant assessments and detailed risk assessments, as well as project engineering and training.

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