The general manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland employs approximately 86,000 people. As well as being key to the economy the manufacturing sector creates jobs and produces goods that we all need.


Due to the nature of the work involved, health and safety is a major concern to the manufacturing industry as a whole. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland assists employers to take active steps to improve safety records and protect their workers' long-term health and wellbeing.

HSENI is responsible for inspecting and investigating incidents and complaints at a wide range of manufacturing premises including heavy and light engineering, food processing, concrete products, chemical and plastics manufacturing and woodworking premises.

HSENI works with employers in the manufacturing sector to take steps to improve safety records and improve worker's long term health and well being.  

Workplace transport

A variety of vehicles are used for many different tasks every day in workplaces, and some of these can be dangerous. Better planning, training and awareness, and the use of suitable vehicles can avoid most accidents.

Some Dos and Don'ts


  • keep people and vehicles apart
  • anchor loads securely to vehicles
  • avoid the need to work at height on vehicles
  • display clear site rules and enforce them


  • operate vehicles unless you are trained and authorised to do so

Machinery and equipment

Generally, work equipment is any equipment which is used by an employee at work. In summary, employers are required to ensure that work equipment is:

  • suitable for the intended use
  • safe for use and properly maintained in a safe condition
  • used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • accompanied by suitable safety measures, e.g. protective devices, guards, warnings

Machinery and equipment should be switched off and isolated before maintenance work is undertaken.


Key legislation

Please note that these links are to the original legislation, visitors should verify for themselves whether legislation is in force or whether it has been amended or repealed.