New HSE Report: Need For Better Safety Management In The Waste Sector

Posted by Lizzie Allen 25 June 2018

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) have co-funded a report providing insight into the Common Human Factors Underlying Worker Fatalities In The Waste And Recycling Industry

Published on 15th June 2018, the report examines 18 fatal incidents across 12 small to medium enterprises (SME's) and six larger companies, and aims to identify the human factors which most commonly contributed to these deaths.

In this article, we're going to break down the report into easily digestible bite size chunks so you don't have to!

Why Is The Report Needed?

The report comes after shocking statistics published by HSE, which showed the rate of fatalities in the Waste and Recycling industry are 15 times higher than the average rate across all other industries.

When you consider the sector only makes up about 0.4% of British employees, this makes for alarming reading! As such, this new report aims to highlight the need for better safety management in the Waste and Recycling industry.

What Are The Key Points?

The HSE report found four key contributing factors to worker fatalities:

  • Mistakes by individuals due to lack of knowledge
  • Inadequate instructions provided with equipment and low quality risk assessments ( can read our article on how to create an amazing risk assessment and download a free template!)
  • Poor safety culture and safety management systems
  • Dangerous work environment, including badly maintained equipment and inadequate separation between workers and hazardous on-site machinery

“Health and safety is an ongoing priority for our sector and this welcome report will help to focus our attention on the areas where real improvement is needed.

Many of the industry bodies and organisations with influence across the UK – including CIWM, ESA and WISH – have worked collaboratively to improve awareness and provide useful guidance and we know that many companies have also taken action to improve health and safety across their operations. However, there is still much more to do to reach the objective of ‘zero deaths’ agreed between HSE and industry stakeholders.”

- Dr. Colin Church, Chief Executive, CIWM


What Are The Key Actions?

The report suggests ways to reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries, focusing on two key areas: Equipment Factors and Safety Management Systems.

  • A joint HSE and industry communications campaign could help raise awareness of legal requirements regarding equipment and maintenance
  • Sharing guidance, information and best practice tips is a great way to improve safety
  • Training at all levels (from equipment operators to managers) should be part of an effective safety management system

What Else Is Being Done?

  • Waste sector plan for improving health and safety was released by HSE in September 2017
  • The Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) has launched a new website to highlight health and safety guidance to industry stakeholders
  • A new campaign from CIWM - 'Health and Safety: This Time It's Personal' - was previewed on 15th - 16th June. It will focus on encouraging CIWM members to take responsibility for health and safety in their role and promoting a positive culture.

“Visible enforcement is important and we welcome HSE’s planned programme of proactive inspections later this year. CIWM is committed to supporting this with a behavioural change campaign to raise awareness around personal responsibility for health and safety in the workplace and embed a more robust health and safety culture across the sector.”

- Dr. Colin Church, Chief Executive, CIWM

Make Sure Your Health & Safety Is Up To Scratch

As Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Workwear and Workplace Safety Equipment specialists for the Waste and Resource Management Sector, we fully support all the latest initiatives from HSE, CIWM and WISH to help improve safety in this hazardous industry.

In fact, we hope the free guidance we offer on PPE products will help all our clients reduce accidents and stay safe.

You can check out our Resources page for all the latest free product catalogues, guides and templates.

Or dive in straight away by downloading our Safety Footwear Guide now!