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REDUCING FATALITIES IN WASTE AND RECYCLING COLLECTION WORK

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Health and Safety Commission chair Bill Callaghan was today in Northampton to promote the guidance document 'Waste ...
Health and Safety Commission chair Bill Callaghan was today in Northampton to promote the guidance document 'Waste and recycling vehicles in street collection' and to thank those in the industry who had worked to devise the standards set out in the guidance.

Since December 2005 there have been six fatalities reported involving reversing waste/ recycling collection vehicles. This guidance document outlines a set of measures aimed at reducing the number of fatalities involving collection staff and members of the public.

Addressing union representatives, local authority chief executives, local authority health and safety officers and representatives from the private and community sectors earlier this morning, Mr Callaghan said:

'This partnership between local authorities, the waste and recycling industry and the Health and Safety Executive has produced a set of clear standards that will control those risks. We want to encourage these partnerships, using the skills and experience of key workers at grass roots level to develop solutions that will work for them. The challenge now is for the industry to implement the controls and ensure that tragic incidents are prevented in the future.'

Reversing causes a disproportionately large number of moving vehicle incidents in the waste/recycling industry each year. The guidance describes simple measures that can be taken such as safe systems and aids for reversing, including trained assistants to ensure that pedestrians do not enter the reversing zone.

Meredydd Hughes, chief constable for South Yorkshire Police and head of the Association of Chief Police Officers Road Policing Policy gave his support to the guidance document, 'There is a tragic history of pedestrians, and particularly children and old people being run over by refuse collection vehicles. We welcome the systems of work set out in this guidance as they can greatly reduce the risk of pedestrians entering the reversing area whilst the vehicle is moving.'

The Northamptonshire Local Authority Safety Advisors Group and the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) did the vital work to devise systems to reduce the risk of collection vehicles running over workers and members of the public. This work was published in their guidance 'Management of refuse driving operations.' The County Safety Group was subsequently awarded a Certificate of Merit in the 2003 IOSH/Zurich Municipal Awards competition. The work has now been published by the Health and Safety Executive.

The guidance 'Waste and recycling vehicles in street collection' can be downloaded from the HSE's website www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/web14.pdf

Notes

1. The Health and Safety Commission is responsible for health and safety regulation in Great Britain. The Health and Safety Executive and local government are the enforcing authorities who work in support of the commission.

2. Since December 2005 there have been six fatalities reported involving reversing waste/ recycling collection vehicles. See news release at www.hse.gov.uk/press/press.htm - mar

3. The Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum developed and refined the Northamptonshire work, producing the current guidance.

4. The WISH Forum consists of representatives of the public, private and community sectors, professional bodies, trade unions, manufacturers, the Health and Safety Executive and other government bodies.

5. HSE's Waste and Recycling Section is currently working to deliver a three-year programme to improve the performance of the industry by working with them and managing an inspection initiative delivered by HSE field inspectors. Further information on health and safety issues in the waste and recycling industry, including advice, guidance and HSE's programme of work is available at the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/waste/index.htm

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