Waste sector injuries drop, says HSE

The number of major injuries in the recycling and waste sector has dropped over the past 12 months, according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Provisional figures from the HSE 2012/13 annual report show that the sector recorded 500 major injuries- such as amputations, fractures and burns- compared to 512 in 2011/12. However, the number of fatalities doubled from the previous 12 months, with 10 deaths reported in the sector.

Graeme Walker, head of waste and recycling for the HSE, said:

“Waste and recycling remains one of Britain’s higher risk industries. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure the number of people killed or harmed in this sector is reduced year on year. Though the numbers are slightly down on last year, too many people still fail to return home safely from work and we are continuing to work together with the industry to change this.”

The HSE has also implemented changes to two key pieces of health and safety legislation, in an attempt to cut ‘red tape’ and encourage businesses to comply with the regulations.

Previously, the training and qualifications of appointed First Aid personnel had to be approved by the HSE. This requirement has now been removed, allowing businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers. Businesses must still ensure that the First Aid needs of its employees are properly met.

There has also been changes made to RIDDOR- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. A number of amendments have been made to these regulations with the aim of clarifying and simplifying the current reporting requirements. These changes are expected to narrow the amount of incidents that require reporting under RIDDOR legislation.

Recycling Lives places Health and Safety at the centre of what we do. Our employees are our most important asset, and we do everything we can to ensure they can work safely. All new employees undergo an induction course in manual handling and safety around our sites. Staff are given the relevant training before using any vehicles, plant or machinery. This training is delivered by our award-winning in-house training department. Our trainers are knowledgeable and qualified, with experience in the type of work they are training people for.