We all like to eat a good meal, but many people don’t always understand, or appreciate the efforts that are required of thousands of people across the globe to feed us. Someone has to produce, process, and distribute the foodstuffs we all too often take for granted. Even those who may still grow a lot of their food rely on the “food chain” to supplement their needs.
I grew up in production agriculture, and our meals frequently included food we grew and harvested, and which went directly from farm to table. But we also sold crops and beef cattle to others, to put food on your table and those of potentially millions of other people.
In my role as a consulting safety professional, I have had the opportunity to work at each end of the food supply chain (and in-between.) I have always been amazed by the hard work that goes into the things we eat and drink, but which we rarely appreciate. I am also amazed by how often employees work with awkward postures or handle heavy items due to inadequate attention to ergonomics and job design–just to put food on our tables.
Production agriculture, food processing, warehousing and distribution are traditionally very low margin industries, with overall higher injury and illness rates than many other industries. Not only have my teammates and I helped these industries reduce their risks for costly injuries and illnesses, we have helped them (and others) improve the efficiencies of their operations. And this is where we provide the greatest value. Everyone wants to keep their employees safer, but we can often provide the added advantage of showing clients how (often simple) fixes can also improve productivity and quality. (Sometimes these metrics are even easier to quantify than “avoidance of injuries.”)
Processing, packaging, and distribution operations are critical in the food industry (and many others.) Periodic ergonomics reviews of these operations can identify challenges to employee safety, productivity, and food quality. Ergonomics assessments of all operations (no matter the industry) are also required by the Occupational Health and Safety regulations in many countries around the world.
For the safety technician, manager, or director, there is a lot on your table, and it is okay to bring in external, outside help. The advantage of third party assessments is the “extra set of eyes” when observing employees and processes. We also bring the experience derived from the thousands of assessments and observations our team has completed at companies around the world.
Contact us today for help with the ergonomics, industrial hygiene, and safety challenges you face. We are offering a 10% discount on the consulting fee for the first project we complete for new customers through January 31, 2021 (please mention this post.) We can help!