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Ensuring the safety of all staff within the Meat Industry is one of our top priorities

Ensuring the safety of our workers is critically important. The New Zealand meat industry must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Because the industry provides food for export at the premium ends of international markets, being able to produce product that is not only safe to eat and high quality, but has been produced in a safe and ethical way is a key part of our value proposition as an industry.

The workplace environment in the meat industry is challenging. Work involves use of sharp knives and saws, lifting or moving objects, temperature extremes, and a number of very rigorous food safety/quality parameters.

MIA member companies take a serious attitude towards health and safety. This has included bringing in things such as improved PPE, and improving training in skills such as knife handling. Early reporting of discomfort and rotating tasks has made a difference to repetitive injuries, and drug testing is an important part of creating a healthy and safe culture for our workers. The industry also has developed voluntary Health and Safety Guidelines.

There is also an understanding that many of the problems are common across all meat processors, which has prompted a focus on developing a pan-industry approach involving better collaboration and communication across the industry, facilitated through the Meat Industry Association. The industry has identified major hazards and is developing industry high hazard standards to set industry best practice.

Please view our Resources section for the following health and safety information: