Work safely in engineering food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Food and Drink
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 26 Feb 2021


This standard identifies the competences you need to work in the workplace within food and drink operations, in accordance with approved procedures and practices. Prior to undertaking the engineering activity, you will be required to carry out all necessary preparations within the scope of your responsibility. This may include preparing the work area and ensuring that it is in a safe condition to carry out the intended activities, ensuring you have the appropriate job specifications and instructions, and that any tools, equipment, materials and other resources required are available and in a safe and usable condition. Food and drink operations is a term used in this standard to cover the following sub sectors of Meat, Drinks, Confectionery, Fresh Produce, Bakery, Seafood and Dairy.

On completion of the engineering activity, you will be required to return your immediate work area to an acceptable condition before recommencing further work requirements.

In order to be efficient and effective in the workplace, you will also be required to demonstrate that you can create and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues and line management. You will be expected to review objectives and targets for your personal development and contribute to, and communicate any opportunities for, improvements that could be made to working practices and procedures.

You will be expected to take personal responsibility for your own actions, and for the quality and accuracy of the work that you carry out.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. work safely at all times, complying with health and safety, environmental and other relevant regulations, directives and guidelines within food and drink operations
  2. prepare the work area to carry out the engineering activity
  3. obtain the tools and equipment to undertake work activities
  4. check there are sufficient supplies of materials and/or consumables and that they meet work requirements
  5. store products or resources following completion of activities in accordance with organisational requirements
  6. tidy up the work area on completion of the engineering activity in accordance with organisational procedures
  7. deal with problems within your control and report those that cannot be resolved in accordance with organisational procedures
  8. contribute and communicate opportunities for improvement to working practices and procedures
  9. review personal training and development opportunities
  10. complete documentation in accordance with organisational procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the safe working practices and procedures to be followed whilst preparing and tidying up your work area relating to food and drink operations and maintenance activities (including HACCP, risk of contamination and food quality)
  2. safe isolation practices and procedures
  3. how to comply with a permit to work system
  4. the environmental procedures that you are required to work to and why it is important that you do so
  5. the correct use of any equipment used to protect health and safety
  6. the procedure for ensuring that all documentation relating to the work being carried out is available and current, prior to starting the activity
  7. the action that should be taken if documentation received is incomplete and/or incorrect
  8. the procedure for ensuring all tools and equipment are available prior to undertaking the activity
  9. the checks to be carried out to ensure tools and equipment are in full working order, prior to undertaking the activity
  10. the action that should be taken if tools and equipment are found to be unsafe or not in full working order
  11. the checks to be carried out to ensure all materials required are correct and complete, prior to undertaking the activity
  12. the checks required to ensure that all tools, materials and components are all accountable before operating the equipment
  13. the action that should be taken if materials do not meet the requirements of the activity
  14. whom to inform when the work activity has been completed
  15. the information and/or documentation required to confirm the activity has been completed
  16. what materials, equipment and tools can be re-used and their cleaning requirements/policies in place in accordance with site environmental procedures
  17. how any waste materials and/or products are transferred, stored and disposed of, including any spoilt food or drink products in accordance with site environmental procedures
  18. where tools and equipment should be stored and located and the segregation processes in place for use in high or low risk areas
  19. the importance of making a contribution to improving working practices
  20. the procedure and format for making suggestions for improvements
  21. what the benefits are to you and the organisation if improvements can be identified
  22. the importance of maintaining effective working relationships within the workplace including handover information and communications
  23. the procedures to deal with and report any problems that can affect working relationships
  24. the difficulties that can occur in working relationships
  25. the regulations that affect how you should be treated at work (including legislation in the relevant to equal opportunities, race and sex discrimination and working time)
  26. the benefits of continuous personal development
  27. the training opportunities that are available in the workplace
  28. the importance of reviewing your training and development
  29. whom to discuss training and development issues with
  30. the extent of your own responsibility and to whom you should report if you have any problems that you cannot resolve


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Food and drink; engineering; manufacturing; maintenance; health and safety; safety at work; hazards at work; COSHH regulations; risk assessment; workplace H&S regulations; personal protection