Alliance Group is investing $3.4 million in new processing technology as part of a wider programme to improve health and safety at the co-operative.
Forty-nine band-saws featuring state-of-the art safe cutting technology have been installed at eight plants across the country.
Designed specifically for the meat industry, the band-saws are uniquely designed to stop the blade within 15 milliseconds when the unit senses a person, glove or both are in close proximity or in contact with the saw.
This significantly reduces the risk of any potential injury with the risk limited to at worst a small cut.
The installation of the technology reflected the company’s commitment to improving health and safety, which was a key component of the co-operative’s business strategy, says David Surveyor, Alliance Group chief executive.
“The use of standard bandsaws is one of the highest risk activities industry-wide. We want our people to be safer and our business to be stronger and this technology will support that.”
The company has made strong progress towards ensuring that safety is embedded in its culture as its absolute number one priority.
“There is still a long way to go but we are absolutely committed to working with our people, customers and suppliers to make our workplaces safe.”
Alliance Group also expects to invest more than $2 million in a phase two programme, which will see the replacement of 20 larger band-saws as soon as the technology becomes available on those models.
The technology has been rolled out to Alliance Group’s plants in Dannevirke, Levin, Nelson, Timaru, Pukeuri, Makarewa, Mataura and Lorneville (Invercargill).
This article appeared in Food NZ magazine (August/September 2017) and is reproduced here with permission.