Making equipment safer ranked among the most important concerns for many bakers in exclusive research funded by BEMA and Baking & Snack, but designing safe systems is easier said than done.

“You have multiple suppliers’ equipment interfacing with one another, and this can create safety gaps,” said Kerwin Brown, BEMA’s president and CEO. “You could also have different levels of training for employees because of turnover or work schedules, and this can result in safety issues. You need proper, ongoing training for existing and new employees. Many bakers also have a combination of new and used equipment. So much is involved.”

At its annual meeting, which runs June 21-26 in Puerto Rico, BEMA and its Baking Industry Forum (BIF) panel will dissect the issue of safety and try to quantify the hard costs, for example, how much worker’s compensation can cost a company in terms of annual sales. The panel also will explore ways in which suppliers can work with bakers to design safer equipment. “Safety is all about our people, our products and our customers,” Mr. Brown said.

For more on the meeting, visit