HSE to conduct surprise safety inspections

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned waste businesses to expect unannounced safety inspections at sites from next week (2 October).

The warning comes after the HSE advised businesses in the waste and recycling industry that “they must pay closer attention” to how they manage workplace risk. It is part of a “proactive review” of health and safety standards in waste and recycling businesses across the country, HSE said.

Last week, thse HSE published its sector plan for the waste and recycling sector, in which it targeted a reduction in injuries and fatalities to waste workers caused by moving machinery (see letsrecycle.com story).

The main causes of fatal injuries to workers in the sector are thought to be collision with moving vehicles, coming into contact with moving machinery or injury by collapsing or overturning objects.

Risk management

The HSE claims that these incidents can be prevented when organisations have proper risk management procedures in place.

In a statement, the HSE said: “The inspections will ensure measures are being taken by those responsible to protect workers and employers against risk and injury and HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.”

HSE’s head of waste and recycling Rick Brunt, said: “The waste and recycling industry continues to have one of the poorest health and safety records. This inspection initiative will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk.

“HSE is calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website. Every worker has the right to return from work safe in the knowledge that their employer takes their health and safety seriously.”