22.06.2004

Health and safety in the waste industry

A new study by the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) maps the health
and safety standards in the UK waste industry in order to identify the health
and safety performance of the industry.

Two Influence Network workshops were held with a wide range of delegates
representing the key stakeholders. These workshops generated significant input
and discussion, which have been analysed to gain an insight into the underlying
influences on health and safety in the waste industry and potential risk
control measures.

Analysis of the delegates' views presented at the workshops on the underlying
causes of accidents and ill health in waste collection indicated that:

  • Of the factors that have a Direct influence on health and safety in
    waste collection, competence, team working, communications and compliance are
    the most significant factors. This reflects the workshop discussions where the
    importance of team working was stressed, and even provided a means of
    compensating for low competence among some of the team members provided there
    were some team members with sufficient competence.
  • Of the Organisational level factors influencing health and safety in waste
    collection, training, management / supervision and communications are judged to
    be the most significant, followed by procedures, planning and health and safety
    culture. These factors are significant as they influence the key factors at the
    Direct level, with management / supervision being essential to motivate workers
    to go out and undertake relatively unpleasant jobs.
  • Of the Policy level factors, company culture and organisational structures
    have the most significant impact, followed by health and safety management.
  • Of the Environmental level factors, the regulatory influence is the most
    significant followed by the market influence.
  • The critical paths through the Influence Network indicate that the
    regulator needs to influence company culture, organisational structure and
    health and safety management in relation to organisations' head offices. These
    head offices then need to influence training and management / supervision in
    order to influence competence, team working, communications and compliance
    within the workforce.

The report gives a literature review and analyses the accidents and injuries in
the waste industry and ends with recommendations:

  • to assist risk controlling, the Standard Industry Classifications (SIC)
    and RIDDOR reporting systems need to be amended (waste industry separated from
    the water industry);
  • develop a strategy for intervening with local authorities to reduce the
    number of waste-related accidents in the public sector;
  • strategies are required to reduce the number of accidents resulting from
    being struck by vehicles, objects, trips including falls from vehicles, and
    manual handling;
  • the regulator needs to influence company culture, ownership and control,
    organisational structure and health and safety management via companies' head
    offices, who in turn need to influence training and management / supervision in
    order to influence competence, team working, communications and compliance.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Safetynews