The UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a warning to firms operating in the waste and recycling industry over the dangers of machinery.
In its regular ebulletin, the organisation highlighted two recent incidents where workers lost their lives in accidents involving machinery. The HSE noted that these tragedies serve as a reminder that “contact with moving machinery is one of the main causes of death in the sector”.
Firms in the waste and recycling industry have therefore been urged to check their compliance with health and safety guidance relating to machinery guarding and isolation procedures.
Remaining compliant with all health and safety legislation should be a priority for any business, but it’s particularly important in sectors where heavy machinery is in use.
The HSE website notes that a “significant proportion” of accidents in the waste and recycling industry each year can be attributed to improper use of equipment or poorly guarded machinery. Among the organisation’s recommendations for reducing the risks to workers include ensuring the right machinery is supplied for the job and that it’s regularly maintained and replaced.
Conducting regular risk assessments, making sure all required guards are in place and undamaged, and ensuring that all power is switched off to machinery during any maintenance, repair or cleaning work is also essential.
You may also want to revisit your emergency response plans to ensure they’re up to date and appropriate for your business.
Providing the right health and safety training to staff is also important, especially given a report published earlier this month that found two-thirds of businesses employing five or more staff are failing to give them proper training in this area.