Health and Safety

19 Dec 2017

Safety must be led from the very top of member companies. Health and Safety (H&S) is a regular feature on the SWA's Council agenda. The Association aims to ensure H&S is given the right priority within the industry as well as helping companies improve performance, as expected by the the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Strong Record

Scotch Whisky has a strong record in health and safety - better than the food manufacturing average. Together with its members, the SWA strives to further improve its performance.

For companies to go beyond what is required by regulation, the SWA has worked with the HSE. The SWA is promoting the use of 'leading and lagging indicators' of process safety. It is delighted that the vast majority of distillers now report against 'process safety performance indicators'.

The SWA Health and Safety Committee helps drive industry standards and support all member companies to comply with best practice and the law.  Members share experiences and knowledge on health and safety. The SWA holds frequent policy and best practice events for members, with support from experts from the HSE, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other professional organisations.

Workplace Transport Safety

The Scotch Whisky industry has made a voluntary commitment to phase out work at height on tankers by 2024. It has worked with the road haulage industry to develop a 'hybrid' tanker specification which allows both top and bottom loading. Hauliers have been quick to respond and both McPhersons and Carntynes, key customers of the industry, have made a number of hybrid tankers available to the industry.

Scotch Whisky Industry Health And Safety Guidance

The SWA has recently refreshed its library of health & safety interactive training awareness modules. There are 7 modules, each of which focuses on a specific health & safety topic and outlines their importance within the Scotch Whisky workplace:

  • Ageing Plant
  • Confined Spaces
  • Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH)
  • Fire Safety
  • Human Factors
  • Looking After Your Health
  • Transport Safety


Each module (which may be undertaken individually or as a group) lasts approximately 20 minutes and is followed by a short quiz to test understanding.

The modules are available to purchase, priced at £100 for member companies and £250 for non-members, and can be ordered here. Please note that unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by debit or credit card.

If you require any further information, please contact Alison Galbraith on 0131 222 9207 or