Who We Are

SHIFT- What is it?

The SHIFT initiative is one designed, implemented and run by the foundry industry itself with a dedicated focus for improving safety & health for all employees within the foundry industry within the UK.

Current statistics show that at least 25 employees in every 1,000 within the foundry industry suffer an injury, which prevents them from working for at least three days. This rate is typically twice the average for the overall manufacturing sector and four times that of the UK workforce as a whole.

By reducing the accident rate in line with similar sectors SHIFT aims to reduce the huge personal suffering and financial burden this places on the UK foundry industry.

Within the foundry industry there is statistical evidence that individual companies are able to control the risks to their employees. Therefore SHIFT targets spreading best practice throughout the industry and by focusing on significant areas of concern, the initiative will enable all companies to benefit from good health and safety practice.

SHIFT- A potted history

As the foundry industry suffers an accident rate significantly higher than other sectors as mentioned above, in 2003 the Foundry Industry Advisory Committee (FIAC), Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Cast Metals Federation (CMF) launched the initiative. Its goal was to reduce accident rates within the sector by 30% by the end of 2008 (see statistics page for details). Given the hard work and efforts made by all contributing parties and businesses, this target was not only achieved but surpassed by a wide margin.

However accidents still occur in the workplace today and the work of the member companies has continued unabated.

In March 2012 the second phase of the initiative was launched at the National Metalforming Centre in West Bromwich, again with the full support of FIAC (now rebranded CHASAC, Castings Health And Safety Advisory Committee) and the HSE. A new goal of a further 25% reduction in accidents across the sector has been set to be achieved by the end of 2017. Once again the industry aims to go beyond this target as it did with the first phase.

SHIFT- How does it work?

The SHIFT Initiative is designed, implemented and run by the foundry industry itself through (CHASAC). The Initiative takes the existing knowledge of health and safety within the foundries industry and presents it in a user-friendly form that can be used by any business within the industry, focusing on the major causes of accidents and ill health. With SHIFT concentrating on those health and safety issues which cause the greatest numbers of incidents in the industry and working with CHASAC & the HSE to produce industry specific guidance, best practice, control systems, monitoring etc. it supports companies in managing their health and safety risks.

A large and significant part of the SHIFT Initiative is for individual companies to commit themselves to controlling their health and safety hazards and to reduce their risks. Signing up to SHIFT demonstrates to its employees, customers and other interested parties such as shareholders or the HSE, that a company is committed to providing a healthy and safe workplace for its employees, contractors and visitors. That commitment involves senior management pledging to follow the initiative through the submission of accident statistics, participating in regular SHIFT health and safety forums and exchanging ideas on best practice with other members. The sequence of topics covered by the initiative can provide companies with a pathway to address the various industry specific issues.

SHIFT - Benefits of the Initiative

Companies signing up to the Initiative will be demonstrating to their employees, shareholders and customers that they are serious about looking after their workforce, their profitability and reputation.

The scheme provides companies with a pathway to achieve goals and a means of measuring performance. Industry specific guidelines, audits, bulletins and best practice will be produced in a style that builds up over time into a supporting manual for health and safety management in foundries. As a member of the scheme, companies will have access to industry specific advice through the administrator's office and this website.

The initiative regularly holds a forum at the Cast Metals Federation (CMF) headquarters in the National Metalforming Centre in West Bromwich, West Midlands which is well attended. It offers the chance to hear first-hand, the latest developments within the industry and to hear expert speakers on topics which have been raised by members as being significant, therefore helping make improvements to their understanding, and, as a result, their management of health and safety within their businesses. Minutes and presentation data is sent out to members after each forum.

Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHAD's) are an opportunity to visit other members where the HSE and suppliers are presenting training and advisory sessions on a variety of topics at the time such as personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protective equipment (RPE), noise, manual handling etc.

Additionally, members can raise questions anonymously through the administrator for circulation amongst other members to get advice or opinions on matters that are concerning them. As knowledge is learnt within the initiative, it will be added to this dedicated website for anyone within the industry to be able to access at any time.

SHIFT - Requirements to Join the Scheme

  • Individual companies or organisations must commit themselves to the Initiative.
  • Accident and ill health data must be returned to the Initiative administrator upon joining the scheme and thereafter monthly. The information will not be used in any way that will identify the company (unless given the permission of that company).
  • The company will be expected to exchange ideas and best practice on a number of topics on an on-going basis.
  • Commitment to the SHIFT Initiative must be provided by a director or senior manager. They will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the safety improvement plan.
  • There is a modest annual fee to join and participate in the SHIFT Initiative, but the main contribution is company commitment.

Further details of the SHIFT Initiative can be obtained from the SHIFT administrator at the: -

Cast Metals Federation, National Metalforming Centre, 47 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 6PY, Tel: 0121 601 6392 or

Michael Bone at the Health and Safety Executive, Alnwick House, Benton Park View, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1YX, Tel: 0191 202 6272.