No Time To Waste! HSE Reminds Waste Management Companies Not To Forget Health And Safety Risks

Publication Date06 August 2020
SubjectEnvironment, Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Waste Management
Law FirmClyde & Co
AuthorMr Stephanie Lunt

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging waste management companies not to forget other health and safety risks while they are taking measures to manage the risk of Covid-19 infections1.

With many waste management businesses at the forefront of providing vital services during these challenging times, safety across all aspects of the waste and recycling industry must remain top of the agenda.

A higher risk of death?

Recently released HSE annual workplace fatality figures for 2019/202 again show the elevated fatality rate in the waste and recycling industry, which is 18 times higher than the all industry rate. With transport and machinery-related risks remaining the main cause of fatality in the sector, waste management businesses should remain alert to these risks, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Whilst the HSE recognises the impact Covid-19 has had on waste management companies, as well as on all industries, employers also need to ensure that monitoring for compliance with precautions aimed at other risks also continues and is not degraded.

The HSE's chief executive Sarah Albon said: "no-one should be hurt or killed by the work they do. In these extraordinary times, we have seen many workers risking their lives to help others during the coronavirus outbreak. Although these statistics are not a reflection on Covid-19 related loss of life, it is a pertinent time to reflect"3.

Spot inspections

Now, more than ever, waste management businesses should be alert to their basic duties and prepare themselves for the re-instigation of visits and inspection from the HSE which are already well under way for some industries. The HSE is calling on businesses in a variety of ways, through a mixture of phone checks and site visits, to hold them to account through ongoing spot inspections.

With the HSE's recent announcement likely to prompt a greater...

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