British Polythene Industries PLC

Company profile

  • No. of employees: 3,500
  • Business sector: Manufacturing
  • Business activities: Polythene film products
  • Stakeholders: Employees, company, shareholders
  • Location: UK-wide

British Polythene Industries PLC (BPI) BPI produces polythene film products. The introduction of a rehabilitation scheme has significantly reduced absences amongst 3,500 staff, thereby helping productivity and cost reduction.

The challenge

BPI already carried out manual handling risk assessment and kinetic handling training to reduce musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) injury levels. BPI wanted to find ways to support those staff who did suffer MSD injuries.

What did the company do?

By working with 'Osteopaths for Industry', BPI provides:

Business benefits

Health and safety benefits

'This rehabilitation scheme created the solutions we needed in terms of health and safety and occupational health. It was popular with the workforce and their representatives, and it made excellent business sense.'

Andy Collinson, Group Director of Health and Safety

Cost benefits

In 2001, the initiative cost around £16,000. This was the cost of around 400 treatments (with an average of 3 treatments per referral).

For every £1 spent on the initiative, BPI believes they have benefited from savings of £12. So, as basic costs in 2001 were £16,000, benefits of £192,000 were achieved. This was a saving of £176,000 in one year and has continued to return such large savings each year since.

'In financial terms, the benefits outweigh the costs by 12:1. We were able to make a case for improvement, prioritise areas and demonstrate the impact we have had from hard measurable facts.'

Andy Collinson, Group Director of Health and Safety


The Board were enthusiastic that a new means of supporting staff and reducing business losses had been identified. They gave their full support to the Group Health and Safety Manager to develop and trial the scheme.

Worker involvement

Following a successful pilot scheme, the initiative was rolled out across the whole company. Employee health and safety representatives, including those from the GMB and TGWU, gave considerable support, particularly in 'selling' the concept to their colleagues.

Updated 2021-08-03