UK Papermaking Sector Dramatically Improved Safety Record in 2012

The UK Papermaking Sector in 2012 achieved a 37% improvement in reportable injuries over 2011.

Feb. 27, 2013 (Press Release) - Recent injury statistics released by Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) show that in 2012 the UK Papermaking Sector achieved a 37% improvement on the previous year. This improvement is a testament to the sector’s commitment, through the Paper & Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC), to sharing good practice and improving safety standards across the board.

The statistics show that in 2012, there were 64 reportable injuries in the Papermaking Sector, compared to 103 in 2011.

A further breakdown of the statistics shows that there were improvements of between 42% and 56% across the UK four regions — south east, south west, north and Scotland. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) all manufacturing injury figures for 2011/2012, across the four regions are now on a par with the UK manufacturing sector, something that less than 12 months ago was only achieved in the south east region.

In the key areas of manufacturing, slip trip and fall, and manual handling injuries have decreased by 24% and 59% respectively. More noticeable, is a 63% reduction in contact with machinery type accidents - these are the low-frequency yet quite often high severity accidents.

For a number of years, the Papermaking Sector had struggled to consistently break through the 1,000 injuries (per 100,000 employees) level. At the start of January 2012, the sector’s total injury rate was 1,105; in May 2012, the sector recorded a sub 1,000 injury rate for the first time in five years. Following successive month-on-month improvements, by December 2012 that figure reduced further to 695.

Commenting on the achievements Andrew Braund, Director of Health, Safety and Social Affairs said, “When I joined CPI in 2000, the industry was castigated for its poor health and safety performance. The idea that the Paper Industry could ever be as good as, or on a par with, the rest of UK manufacturing was inconceivable. Not only is the Paper Industry now on a par with UK manufacturing, but it has one of the lowest papermaking accident rates in Europe.

“Today, after many years of continuous improvement, setting targets and challenging the way we make paper in a modern society, it is testimony to everyone who has worked tirelessly in the UK Paper Industry to reach this milestone in injury performance. It is a great achievement, but it mustn’t stop there.

“It is important that we don’t let our health and safety standards slip. We have more work to do with reducing the number of major injuries, and under the new PABIAC strategy ‘Being the difference together’, three-year plans (2012 – 2014) are in place for addressing these types of injuries. CPI and its partners in PABIAC will continue to instil good practice and standards to deliver continuous improvement in the Paper Industry”.

The Papermaking Sector is midway through its current PABIAC strategy, and along with the Corrugated Packaging and Recovered Paper Sectors that make up PABIAC, CPI will continue to assist companies in achieving the strategy’s objectives.

The Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC) is a tripartite partnership between Trade Unions, Industry and HSE. It represents the following sectors of industry:

  • Papermaking/tissue making
  • Paper Conversion/Corrugated Sector
  • Paper Recycling

On 8 November 2011, PABIAC launched its new strategy — “Being the Difference Together” — designed to improve health and safety standards in the paper industries. It is the third strategy to be implemented and agreed by industry and unions through the PABIAC partnership.