A Recipe for Safety: Elevating Health and Safety in the South African Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry

A Recipe for Safety: Elevating Health and Safety in the South African Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry

The South African Food, Drinks and Tobacco industry is a cornerstone of the nation's economy. From nourishing meals to refreshing beverages, this sector plays a vital role in everyday life. However, ensuring the safety of its workforce is just as crucial as producing high-quality products. While some improvements have been made, the industry's health and safety compliance record remains a mixed bag. This article explores the legal obligations, common pitfalls, and the path towards achieving a robust safety culture within the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry. We'll also highlight how partnering with MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, can empower your organisation to prioritise safety and achieve operational excellence.

Navigating a Complex Landscape: Legal Obligations and Challenges

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 85 of 1993 serves as the legal framework for workplace safety in South Africa.  Employers within the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry have a legal duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.  Failure to comply with OHSA regulations can result in hefty fines, prosecution, and even business closure.

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MAKROSAFE offers a total solution to ensure your company reaches and maintains Occupational Health and Safety Compliance:

Health and Safety Compliance Audit

A Health and Safety Compliance Audit is one of the most useful means to verify Health and Safety compliance in South African workplaces, to ensure that you comply with the Occupational Health & Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Regulations, standards and by-laws. Our compliance audit will help you establish where you legally stand regarding your workplace Health and Safety compliance.

Risk Assessment

A Health and Safety Risk Assessment is the most important part of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, no company can be compliant to the OHS Act if this is not conducted, implimented and monitored on a regular basis. Our Risk Assessments help you Identify, Manage and Control risks and hazards in your workplace to ensure your employees are safe.

Beyond Legal Compliance: The Price of Neglect

The true cost of neglecting health and safety extends far beyond potential fines. Here are some of the pain points commonly experienced by Food, Drinks & Tobacco companies with inadequate safety programs:

High Injury Rates: Accidents and injuries disrupt production schedules, resulting in lost productivity and increased workers' compensation costs.

High Absenteeism Rates: Safety hazards can lead to employee illnesses and injuries, causing increased absenteeism and decreased morale.

Low Employee Morale: A lack of focus on safety can create a culture of fear and anxiety among employees, negatively impacting morale and motivation.

Poor Public Image: News of safety incidents can damage a company's public image and erode consumer confidence in its products.

Difficulty Attracting and Retaining Talent: A reputation for poor safety practices can make it difficult to attract and retain qualified workers.

Common Pitfalls and Recipe for Success in Health and Safety


Reactive vs. Proactive Approach: Focusing solely on compliance after an accident occurs is ineffective. A proactive approach that identifies and mitigates hazards beforehand is essential.

Lack of Management Commitment: Without strong leadership commitment, safety initiatives often lack the necessary resources and support to be effective.

Inadequate Training and Communication: Employees need proper training on safe work practices and hazard identification. Regular communication regarding safety protocols is also critical.

Failure to Investigate and Learn from Incidents: Every incident is an opportunity to learn and improve. Failing to investigate accidents and implement corrective actions leaves employees vulnerable to future occurrences.

Recipe for Success:

Conduct Regular Risk Assessments: Proactively identify and assess potential hazards within your workplace, tailoring safety measures to address specific risks.

Develop and Implement Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs): Clear, concise SOPs outline safe work procedures for different tasks, minimising confusion and ensuring consistency.

Provide Effective Training and Communication: Train employees on safe work practices and hazard identification. Regularly communicate safety updates and reinforce safety protocols.

Invest in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Provide employees with the appropriate PPE to protect themselves from hazards present in the workplace.

Establish a Culture of Safety: Empower employees to report safety concerns and actively participate in safety discussions. Recognise and reward safe work practices.

Any questions? Speak to one of our Experts

MAKROSAFE: Your Trusted Partner in Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry Safety

MAKROSAFE, a proud authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, understands the unique challenges faced by the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry. We offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to empower your organisation to achieve safety excellence:

Expert Risk Assessments: Our team of experienced safety professionals will conduct thorough risk assessments of your workplace, identifying potential hazards specific to the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry, such as:

  • Slips, trips, and falls: Uneven surfaces, wet floors, and improper footwear can all contribute to these common occurrences.
  • Machinery hazards: Ensuring proper guarding, training, and lockout/tagout procedures are crucial for preventing machinery accidents.
  • Chemical exposure: Employees handling hazardous chemicals require proper training, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilation systems.
  • Ergonomic hazards: Repetitive tasks and awkward postures can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
  • Fire hazards: Proper storage of flammable materials, fire safety training, and functioning fire extinguishers are essential.
  • Customisable Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs): We collaborate with you to develop clear, step-by-step SOPs tailored to your specific equipment, processes, and safety needs in the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry. This ensures employees understand how to perform tasks safely and efficiently.
  • Engaging Toolbox Talks: Our team doesn't just create Toolbox Talks; we create engaging presentations.  We incorporate relevant industry best practices, case studies specific to the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry, and interactive elements to keep your employees engaged and actively participating in safety discussions.
  • Online Safety Management with SafetyWallet: SafetyWallet provides a user-friendly platform to manage, store, and distribute all your SOPs, Toolbox Talk resources, and safety data electronically. This ensures easy access for all employees, promotes consistent application of safety procedures, and simplifies record-keeping.
  • Ongoing Support and Training: We understand that safety is a continuous journey. MAKROSAFE offers ongoing support and training to ensure your safety program remains effective. We can provide refresher training on procedures, conduct audits to monitor compliance, and help you adapt your safety program to evolving workplace needs and regulations within the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry.

Don't Wait for an Accident to Happen. Make Safety a Priority Today!

Any questions? Speak to one of our Experts

Building a Culture of Safety: It Starts with You

A strong safety culture goes beyond written procedures and training programs.  It's fostered by open communication, active employee participation, and a genuine commitment to safety from leadership.  Here's how you can contribute:

Encourage open communication: Empower employees to report safety concerns without fear of reprisal.

Recognise and reward safe work practices: Acknowledge employees who consistently prioritise safety.

Lead by example: Demonstrate your commitment to safety by actively participating in safety initiatives.

Invest in employee well-being: Healthy and well-rested employees are more likely to be focused and safety-conscious on the job.

Don't Wait for an Accident to Happen. Make Safety a Priority Today!

Partnering with MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, empowers you to build a robust safety program within your Food, Drinks & Tobacco organisation. We offer a free consultation to assess your current safety practices and develop a customised program specifically tailored to the needs of the Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry.

Here's how MAKROSAFE can help you achieve safety excellence:

Schedule your complimentary Food, Drinks, and Tobacco Industry Safety Consultation today! Visit our website or call us at 0861 444 777.

Empower your workforce to work safely, every day!

By prioritising safety, you can create a more productive, profitable, and reputationally sound workplace within the South African Food, Drinks & Tobacco Industry. Let's work together to make safety a core value, not an afterthought.

Let's empower your workforce to work safely, every day! Unlock a Safer Educational Realm with SafetyWallet Benefits.

As a subscriber of SafetyWallet, you're entitled to a 25% discount on our health and safety courses. The value of safety cannot be overstated, and we're committed to supporting institutions in fostering a secure environment. Take advantage of your SafetyWallet subscription and enhance safety standards within your institution. Our courses are also available for purchase on My Safety Shop, ensuring easy access to the training you need.

MAKROSAFE, as a proud SafetyWallet Authorised Dealership of SafetyWallet, offers a free consultation to assess your current training needs and develop a customised training plan. Contact us today and let's build a brighter, safer future for the South African Food, Drinks, and Tobacco Industry, together. Click on the image below to find a SafetyWallet Solution that suits your business (Branch/Site specific) and get the 21 benefits that includes FREE Health and Safety E-Learning for all staff along with the subscription:


To find out what other Additional Services we offer, please click on the picture below:

My Safety Shop