A new guide has been published to help cold chain businesses, including food manufacturers, monitor the specific health and safety challenges posed to employees operating in a cold environment.

The Cold Chain Federation’s Keeping People Safe in a Cold Store guide provides an overview of the major risks in a typical cold storage warehouse, bringing previously disparate industry advice into one place for the first time.

Cold Chain Federation’s chief executive, Shane Brennan, said: “Cold facilities are an inherently high-risk environment with unique challenges to be factored into health and safety planning and management.

“As the first health and safety guide of its kind specifically aimed at cold stores, this resource will save businesses time and help them with health and safety compliance in an efficient and structured way. Its publication also opens a new channel for the Cold Chain Federation to respond to specific compliance queries on behalf of our members. Keeping people safe is not just a moral responsibility, it’s good for business.”

HSE statistics show that 147 workers were killed, and a further 581,000 reported injured in workplace accidents in 2018/19. Fines totalling £54.5m from prosecutions were issued as a result of investigations into incidents over the same period.

Kerry Broadhead, health and safety manager at the Ice Co Storage and Logistics and chair of the Cold Chain Federation’s Technical and Safety Expert Group says: “Keeping our people safe while they are operating is of primary importance to the Ice Co Storage and Logistics, and this new Cold Chain Federation guidance will be a valuable tool in helping us to maintain the highest levels of health and safety. By acting as a checklist of all the different risks that a cold store business needs to consider, it will be easier for us to make sure that our processes, knowledge and training stay right up to date.”