New waste removal guidelines issued

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued new guidelines, designed to improve the safety of those involved in hand sorting recyclables.

According to the HSE, hand sorting of recyclables – often known as totting – is one of the more dangerous aspects of waste removal and sorting, as it often involves large vehicles; and the HSE state: “The most serious risk associated with totting is a collision between a vehicle or mobile plant and a pedestrian.

“Such collisions are almost always serious and can be fatal. Accidents happen because working practices have failed to achieve effective segregation of moving vehicles from pedestrians.”

The HSE have reported that between 2001/2002 and 2009/2010, there were a total of fifty-seven fatalities in the waste management and recycling industry, as a result of people being hit by moving vehicles.

Now, after lengthy consultations, work with stakeholders from the waste sector who sit on the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum, the HSE have issued new guidelines which aim to take a much more in-depth look at educating those involved how to go about avoiding any accidents.

The new guidelines specifically look at the manual removal of materials direct from waste streams without the use of a picking line or any other dedicated recycling plant – a process which often involves the removal of waste items that result from recycling plant blockages, the removal of plastics from green waste as well as the removal of recyclable materials from waste on the floor.