Safety In The Food Sector

One of the essential needs of people is nutrition. Increasing population, developing industry and changing life conditions rapidly have increased the demand of the convenience food and its consumption. Today, the manufacturing sector of food products is one of the largest sectors in the world when the trade volume is considered.

Sector Risks

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The food industry, which has a wide range, takes in some sectors that have different characteristics from each other in terms of sub-branch. Meat and fish products, grains , fruits, sugar, milk and milk products, biscuits, breads, cakes and chocolates, liquid and solid oils and many other products are produced in this sector. Despite the wide variety of products, similar steps are followed basically in the food industry during the manufacturing phase. Foods are taken as raw, processed, packaged and then marketed for people to consume them .

Many physical and chemical processes are carried out in this process. Methods such as boiling, cooling, ionizing radiation, drying, storing in a cupboard, freezing, unwatering, sterilizing with antibiotics and using chemical preservatives are used to prolong the life of the foods and to prevent spoil of them.

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Accident Causes

When work accidents in our country are examined, it can be seen that work accidents that occurred in the food products manufacturing industry sector constitute about the part of 10% of total work accidents. Also, the food industry manufacturing sector is in the top 10 sectors in which the highest number of accidental deaths is seen.

In the graphic below, it is indicated the major accidents that have occurred in the food products manufacturing sector and the causes and rate of the accidents that require the rest more than three days.

  • Accidents due to manual handling
  • Accidents due to gliding and falling
  • Accidents due to falling from height
  • Accidents caused by pressing, mashing, cutting of one or multiple objects
  • Accidents caused by Machine tool of food products
  • Accidents due to chemicals and dust

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Conclusions and Suggestions

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Instead of manual handling, transportation activities can be minimized by using equipment such as conveyor belts, vacuumed conveyors, automatic load handling systems. When it is not possible to install transport systems, ergonomic working conditions must be provided and work safety equipment such as non-slip gloves and logistic gloves should be used.

Where it is necessary to ascend to high areas, it should be provided that only those who are authorized enter these zones and to block that the employees who are not authorized enter these zones. In addition, secured ladders and similar equipment should be used for access to these areas.

Where the fixed or falling object’s compression, crushing or cutting accidents occurs, the stored materials has to be fixed in shelfs where they are placed. As the knives used during meat cutting and chopping are very sharp, steel cord fabric gloves must be worn in unused hand and anti cut armlets and suitable protective equipment should be used to protect upper part of arm.

In case of accidents due to food preparation and processing, steel cord fabric gloves which are used in meat cutting and chopping may not be used while the cutting is made by machine. Slubbed rubber gloves must be used while adding or extracting the meat to the machine. In activities such as cleaning and maintenance of cutting blades, the cutter assemblies must be removed from the site after being sure that the machine has been safety stopped, and cut-resistant gloves should be provided to the maintainer.

In the phase of using of chemical substances are must be taken care and chemical substances shouldn’t be appeared redundant in the environment. In the chemical and dust environment, glasses, mask, hand and body protective equipment should be used while working in chemical and dust environment.

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