Those responsible for implementing health and safety procedures especially within the waste sector should acquaint themselves with the latest safety guidance from Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The report was published on 15 June and follows recognition of the fact there have been a number of fatal incidents recently and many of them have been due to human error. In fact the report: Common human factors underlying worker fatalities in the waste and recycling industry, looked at 18 fatal incidents across 18 countries, both large and small.
There were four key factors that were identified in the report. They were:
- Inadequate procedures for conducting work safely.
- Dangerous working environment including poorly maintained equipment.
- Errors due to lack of knowledge and training.
- Inadequate instructions and poor risk assessments.
Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) Chief Executive Dr Colin Church said: “Health and safety is an ongoing priority for our sector and this welcome report will help to focus our attention on the areas where real improvement is needed.
“[…] However, there is still much more to do to reach the objective of ‘zero deaths’ agreed between HSE and industry stakeholders.”
This means that there are two priority areas that have been identified to reduce the risks to workers in the sector in the future. These are the improvement of procedures, and the improvement of the equipment that is used and the information available to people using them.
There will also be proactive inspections taking place later in the year to ensure that enforcement is visible.