The SIMPLC (Safety in Manufacturing Plastics and Composites) initiative to improve health and safety in the plastics and composites industries was launched in 2010. At the time, the plastics industry – in keeping with the rest of the manufacturing sector – had one of the highest rates of industrial injuries. Over the seven years since its launch, a wealth of information and tools have been made available to industry via the supporting trade associations. In the past year there has been a notable decrease in the number of accidents but there is still work to do, so a third three-year SIMPLC strategy has been developed and launched.
This new strategy, supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will run from 2018 to 2021. It brings together all parts of the industry including trade organizations and unions in a bid to stimulate progress on accident and ill-health reduction by helping to embed a health and safety culture within businesses.
Individual companies are invited to sign a pledge to demonstrate their commitment to improving the health and safety record of the industry as a whole. In return, SIMPLC will continue to help employers achieve what they identify as health and safety priorities for their individual business.
The participating trade associations and other supporting organisations have updated their action plans to help their members achieve long-term improvements. Accident reporting will be maintained through these organisations each year, the results of which will enable yearly reduction targets to be set.
HSE Head of Manufacturing and Utilities Unit John Rowe said: “It is encouraging that the injury rate in the plastics industry has significantly reduced since the first strategy in 2010, and is now below the all manufacturing industries average. In line with the HSE Helping Great Britain Work Well strategy, the SIMPLC strategy for 2018 to 2021 aims to continue with initiatives to reduce accidents within the sector. There is also a commitment to reducing the incidence of occupational ill-health. The new SIMPLC initiative aims to continue to work with everyone across the plastics and composites industries to really drive change and reduce the number of people being injured or made ill by their work.”
The participating organisations are:
- The British Plastics Federation
- Composites UK
- The Glass and Glazing Federation
- Polymer Machinery Manufacturers & Distributors Association
For more information on the SIMPLC initiative, and the associated three-year action plan for the composites industry, click here.