UK Paper Industry Continues to Improve Health & Safety Performance

July 5, 2011 (Press Release) - The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) announces three years of significant achievements in improving health and safety performance in the corrugated, papermaking and recovered paper industries [in the United Kingdom].

Launched on 15 July 2008, a new health and safety strategy for the Paper Industry was developed by The Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC), a tripartite strategic health and safety delivery partnership comprising HSE, employers and Trade Unions.

The strategy set a target of a 10% year-on-year reduction in accident rates for the Paper Industry. At the end of March 2011, this target was exceeded, with a year-on-year reduction of 10.5%. Overall, the industry reduced the number of accidents from 1,257 per 100,000 employees in 2008 to 885 per 100,000 employees in 20111.

Within the corrugated sector, a targeted initiative to reduce the number of injuries resulting from machinery interventions has resulted in the rate falling to 126 per 100,000 in 2011 from 465 per 100,000 in 2008; an impressive 73% reduction.

In 2010, the number of employees injured in the papermaking sector was at its lowest since records began in 1992; there were 97 RIDDOR2 injuries compared to 841 in 1992.

Within the industry’s impressive injury rate reduction, the recovered paper sector, which includes members of the Recycling Association, reduced its injury rate to 466 per 100,000 in 2011 compared to 1,088 per 100,000 in 2008. This was an outstanding achievement in a very short period and one that bucks the industry trend in the waste and recycling sector3.

The strategic leadership of PABIAC has undoubtedly been a significant factor in these improvements, with commitment from 31 senior managers voluntarily signing the PABIAC pledge.

In addition to the reduction in injury rates, there has been a more than threefold increase in the number of sites that have benchmarked their health and safety management performance and undertaken and acted upon the results of employee health and safety climate surveys.

Occupational Health has been more prominent on the industry’s agenda, with an increase in the number of companies reviewing and upgrading their occupational health arrangements.

Further to the load security enforcement campaign from the Health and Safety Executive and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, CPI is actively involved with other Trade Associations and key stakeholders in identifying appropriate improvements in the methods of securing loads on curtain-sided vehicles.

CPI supports the Paper Industry by coordinating proactive health and safety committees, issuing industry specific guidance documents, regular news bulletins, and the sharing of information on industry specific hazards that challenge the status quo and drive improvements.

Commenting on the achievements, Andrew Braund, CPI Director of Health, Safety and Social Affairs, said:

“Over a number of years the paper industry has shown a determined effort to be amongst the best performing industries in manufacturing. By setting challenging accident reduction targets, and through industry initiatives such as the PABIAC strategy, we have delivered significant reductions in injuries and ill health in the workplace and demonstrated improvements in health and safety management.

"Our achievements to date are a direct result of industry, employers and employees working together, and under the auspices of PABIAC we will continue to set the direction that will help the paper industry achieve further improvements as we strive towards our ultimate goal of zero accidents.”

With a focus of ongoing improvement, CPI is working closely with the PABIAC partners to establish the strategic targets for January 2012 to December 2014. The new strategy will be launched by Judith Hackitt CBE, HSE Chair, at the CPI Biennial Health and Safety Conference on 8 November 2011.

CPI is the voice and face of the UK Paper Industry, representing papermakers, tissue manufacturers, corrugated packaging producers and recovered paper merchants. CPI represents 72 Member Companies, with a combined annual turnover of GBP 4 billion and 19,600 personnel.