ESA launch health and safety report on contrasting performance across sector

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Fatalities in the waste industry are around 15 times higher than the UK industry average

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has launched a new health and safety report which looks at contrasting performance across the industry.

Fatalities in the waste industry are around 15 times higher than the UK industry average, with 39 worker fatalities recorded since 2012.

Nearly half all injuries come from kerbside collection and the dangers of working in and around refuse collection vehicles and manual handling injuries.

The ESA said that the diversity of jobs in the waste industry, from process-based installations like Energy from Waste to manual labour roles of sorting mixed recyclables, could explain why there remains such a high injury rate.

A variety of companies which compete for and provide waste collection services were also identified as an issue, as it can be difficult to make sure all are actively engaged in the health and safety agenda.

Stephen Freeland, ESA policy advisor, said: “HSE’s injury statistics for the waste industry continue to make for rather sobering reading.

“ESA’s new health and safety report aims to bring this contrasting performance to the fore and offers a number of recommendations to ensure resources are targeted and best practice widely disseminated to ensure that everyone in the industry is working to the same high standards.”

Recommendations include asking the HSE to consider separating its public and private sector statistics to allow more meaningful comparison.

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