Waste industry cleans up act on safety at work

Working in waste and recycling is now one of the most dangerous jobs in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said, prompting the industry’s biggest players to commit themselves to improvements.

Its latest figures suggest that the number of fatal incidents in the industry is more than 10 times the national average, and reportable acci­dents more than four times the national average.

As a result, members of the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum, which includes the key organ­isations associated with the industry, have committed themselves to a five-year charter to reduce reportable accident rates by 10% per year over five years, and reduce the number of working days lost to accidents and ill health.

They have also pledged to promote more effective health and safety management, improve the health and safety climate and attitudes in the workforce, and increase competence levels.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “It is heartening to see a strategic forum such as WISH commit to reducing the level of workplace accidents and ill health in their sector. This charter will bring WISH member organ­isations together to share best practice and to focus on a positive, common goal.”

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