People working in the waste and recycling industry are potentially at high risk of suffering death or injury, according to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive.
The statistics have suggested the combined fatal and major injury rate in waste and recycling is more than four times the average across all industries.
A total of 416 employees per 100,000 suffer a major injury or are killed at work in the sector, compared with the all-industry average rate of 102 per 100,000.
More positively, a total of 530 major injuries to employees in waste and recycling were reported in 2009/10, a fall of 10% on the previous year when 590 major injuries were reported, it added.
Major injuries, such as amputations and broken limbs, accounted for one in four injuries in the sector.
Provisional fatality figures for 2009/10 also showed that four employees were killed as a result of working in waste and recycling between April 2009 and March 2010 – three fewer than in 2008/09.
Three members of the public also died in relation to work activities in the waste and recycling sector during 2009/10.
There was little discernible improvement in injuries that kept people away from work for three days or more, with 2,151 reported in 2009/10 compared with 2,225 in 2008/09 – a fall of only 1%, it added.