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HSE Inspections for Waste & Recycling sites this autumn

HSE Inspections for Waste & Recycling sites this autumn

Workplace safety within the waste and recycling industry has been highlighted by the HSE again as they announce a programme of inspections during October – December 2019. The aim of the inspections is to identify those businesses who are failing to protect the health and welfare of employees through unsafe practices.

The HSE will target those premises where poor health and safety performance has been identified by other agencies, local authorities and industry regulators. Businesses who are found to be in breach of health and safety regulations may face criminal prosecution and/or large fines.

High rates of work related injury

The sector has once again been highlighted as of concern due to the high rate of workers experiencing injury in the sector. 5% of workers in the sector are injured each year - which is around double the average rate.

According to HSE data, during 2018–19, 147 people were killed while at work. The HSE data shows that 7 of these fatalities were workers in the waste and recycling sector. Although this number is low in comparison to the number of fatalities in construction in the same period (30), when you look at the rate per 100,000 workers employed it is the second highest industry sector. There were also an estimated 5,000 work-related ill health cases in the waste industry.

The top 3 priorities for the HSE within the waste and recycling sector are stated to be:

  • To reduce the number of people being struck by moving vehicles.
  • To reduce the number of workers being caught in moving machinery.
  • To reduce the number of ill-health cases.

Inspections will take place between October and December 2019 and around one third of those businesses identified as having poor practices will be targeted for inspection.

Employer's Liability and mitigating risk

From an insurance perspective, it is important to make sure that your business is taking all the necessary steps to mitigate the risk of injury to employees and complying with the appropriate legislation. In the unfortunate event of a claim on an employer’s liability insurance being necessary, following accident or injury, it will be necessary for employers to be able to demonstrate that they have done everything possible to protect their employee’s health and safety.

There are some useful resources available on the HSE website which address the top three priorities above. These can help you to identify and solve issues.

Vehicles at Work

Equipment & machinery

Occupation Health Issues

For more information and advice on employer’s liability insurance for your waste and recycling business, get in touch with our experienced team. With over a decade of knowledge through providing insurance to the industry, we are well placed to offer advice and information to make sure you are identifying and mitigating risk in the workplace.

Renewal Info


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