Safety of workers improved

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A 14.5m-long overbridge that spans from the Alliance Group’s Mataura plant across the main railway line swung in to place on Monday.

The 2m-wide covered overbridge was installed to improve the safety of workers crossing the railway line to go to and from the company’s car park, Alliance Group general manager processing Kerry Stevens said.

The railway line is between the plant in McQueen Ave and the car park in Main St.

The plant employs 450 people during the peak of the processing season.

“It’s a risk we can do something about [the railway line],” Mr Stevens said.

The large overbridge would also keep workers dry when walking to and from work, he said.

“Its design met the specifications and engineering requirements. It needs to be quite strong and robust.”

The overbridge was one of several safety measures being put in place at the plant, Mr Stevens said.

“For many years our employees have had a controlled pedestrian access [to the plant],” Mr Stevens said.

That access was across the railway line.

redesigned when mutton processing ceased, provision was made to join the overbridge to the main building, he said.

Meanwhile, health and safety has dramatically improved within the Alliance Group, with a 40% reduction in the number of injuries throughout all plants.

Travelling the country with the company’s roadshow, Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor spoke at the Longford Function Centre in Gore recently, and said he was thrilled with the progress made in health and safety.

At one point in 2014, Alliance, with almost 5000 staff, was at the stage where one in every eight or nine employees was getting injured each year.

For the 2017 year, that figure was down to one in 36.