Guidelines to minimise the amount of accidents in the waste management and recycling industries have been introduced.
The Glasgow-based framework is unique within Britain and was devised by the Scottish Waste Industry Training Competency and Health & Safety (SWITCH) forum.
It concentrates on the industrial, commercial and household waste management sectors’ frontline roles, offering core competencies on various entry level areas.
The SWITCH forum’s new framework majors on the subject of safety. More than 30 groups involved in recycling work and waste sector comprise SWITCH’s forum.
The Zero Waste Scotland-backed body aims to take a major role in increasing safety and health standards.
It also looks to improve education, learning, competence and development to showcase Scotland’s resource management sector as a profession that people want to move into.
The following statistics show that fatal accidents are not uncommon in the waste industry:
During the last financial year alone (2014/15), a handful of waste operatives suffered fatal injuries at work.
A total of 37 employees have suffered fatal injuries in the waste and water sector during the past five years – 33 from the waste industry.
Overall, however, these Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures reveal that the number of fatal accidents in the UK has dropped over the past two decades.
Hazards still remain
Zero Waste Scotland’s resource management head Charlie Devine chairs the country’s SWITCH group.
Mr Devine says that despite the HSE highlighting the fall in fatalities, several risks and hazards still remain in the recycling and resource management sector.
He is calling for the industry’s companies to prioritise safety and health. Mr Devine believes the new framework’s launch can help to raise the levels of safety and health standards.
It can also begin to upgrade people’s mindsets, skills and know-how to make the sector’s safety and health performance even better, he hopes. Many groups have already volunteered to adopt the new framework.
Source: Zero Waste Scotland
Date Published: February 23, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown