Waste/Recycling Trade Association Launches EHS Strategy for Industry

April 7, 2006
On the heels of a spate of fatalities in the waste management and recycling industry in the United Kingdom, the industry's trade association has launched a safety and health strategy that explains how the association will attempt to meets its goals of eliminating fatalities and reducing injuries.

In 2004, the London-based Environmental Services Association announced that its goals were to eliminate fatalities by the end of 2007, reduce reportable accidents by 10 percent each year until 2007 and reduce work-related illnesses by 20 percent by 2010. On April 6, the association issued its strategy for achieving those goals.

The strategy focuses on four areas that the association asserts account for the most incidents in the waste and recycling industry: slips, trips and falls; manual handling; workplace transport; and machinery.

According to the association, its members reported that approximately one-third of the accidents from 2002 through 2004 were slips, trips and falls most of which were associated with garbage trucks.

Manual handling accounted for another one-third of accidents, and the majority of those accidents also were associated with garbage trucks, according to the association.

The number of incidents associated with machinery were fewer but usually more serious than the other causes and exposures, the association says.

Because there are no industry-specific guidelines for the waste management and recycling industry, one of the trade association's major objectives is to develop workplace safety and health guidelines in 10 areas:

  1. Slips, trips and falls
  2. Manual handling
  3. Workplace transport
  4. Personal protective equipment
  5. Legislations and responsibilities
  6. Machinery safety
  7. Fire and emergency procedures
  8. Health and hygiene
  9. Hazardous substances
  10. Accident and incident reporting, including near-misses

The Environmental Services Association plans to promulgate guidelines on the first five areas by this summer and the second five areas by the summer of 2007.

Other objectives of the association's strategy include continuing to collect information on the locations and causes of certain workplace incidents, developing an initiative by June to reduce the number of accidents and incidents at commercial customers' sites and cooperating with the U.K. Health and Safety Executive on waste management and recycling issues.

To read the Environmental Services Association's strategy, visit http://www.esauk.org/ESA_H&S_strategy.pdf.

For more on the recent spate of fatalities in the waste and recycling industry, read "U.K.: Fatalities in Waste/Recycling Industry Spark Alert."

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