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April 11, 2010

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HSE to step up waste-sector intervention

The high accident rate in the waste and recycling industry has prompted the HSE to draw up a programme of central interventions with a number of national companies in the sector.

The industry is plagued with a high accident rate, which is typically four times the all-industry average for all injuries to workers, and nine times the all-industry average for fatal injuries.

The HSE has identified ten companies to take part in the targeted programme, known as National Lead Inspector (NLI). The interventions involve a head office visit, a review of the companies’ safety management systems, and inspection of their operational activities.

The approach will focus primarily on the waste-collection activities of the companies involved. Inspectors are focusing on specific issues, such as route risk assessment; use of reversing assistants; communication with collection crews; and supervising and monitoring of collection crews.

Other issues to be checked during the inspections are director leadership; worker engagement; adoption of an effective safety management system; and evidence of how companies are meeting the targets set out by the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum – which last year pledged to halve accidents in the sector over the next five years.

Follow-up intervention work is planned for 2010/11 and 2011/12.

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