In Q4, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will carry out targeted inspections of the waste and recycling sector which includes metal recycling including end of life vehicles (ELV).
Subsectors to be inspected include Metal Recycling (End of Life Vehicles (ELV)), whereas subsectors not to be inspected in Q4 2020 / 2021 include Catalytic Converter Recycling.
The Waste and Recycling Sector has one of the highest rates of workplace injury and work-related ill-health across all industries.
The purpose of this inspection programme is to target a) machinery guarding and b) workplace transport at waste and recycling sites. Together, these two issues account for the majority of fatalities in the sector.
According to the Waste & Recycling Sector Workplan, over the last 5 years, there has been an average of 9 fatalities annually in the waste industry. Over three-quarters of all fatal injuries were related to transport, machinery and being struck by objects. The fatality rate is around 18 times greater than the rate across all industries per 100,000 workers,
There was also an estimated average of 4,000 non-fatal injuries to workers each year over the last 7 years. The main kinds of accidents involve slips & trips, lifting & handling and being struck by objects.
The top two priorities for the sector are to reduce the number of people being struck by moving vehicles and to reduce the number of workers being caught in moving machinery.
Workplace transport continues to remain a key risk within the waste and recycling industry. Over a five-year period between 2015/16 and 2019/20, a third of deaths in the sector involved moving vehicles. The key factors remain workplace transport arrangements on-site; suitability and maintenance of vehicles; and the competence and management of drivers.
Machinery guarding and isolation also remain a key risk within the waste and recycling industry. Over a five-year period between 2015/16 and 2019/20 approximately a third of deaths in the sector was the result of persons coming into contact with dangerous parts of machinery. The key factors remain to prevent access to dangerous use machinery; and the failure to develop, implement and supervise appropriate procedures for clearing blockages and maintenance (i.e. isolation and lock-off).
During the inspection, the following questions will be asked:
- What processes are carried out and equipment used?
- Are control measures adequate to manage the risks?
- If control measures are not adequate, what are the specific control failings (i.e. control measures not being identified, used, checked, or maintained)?
- Are there any management failings (e.g. policy, planning, information, training, supervision, monitoring, competence, leadership)?
- Was there any SG involvement?
- Was there a Material Breach(es) or Enforcement action taken?
And where inspections are of sites that have been the subject of previous, recent enforcement action, the following questions will be added:
- Has there been sustained compliance in the control of those health and safety risks enforced upon at the previous visit?
- If not, what are the reasons for failing to maintain continued control?
- Were additional uncontrolled risks identified and if so what were they?
To read more, go to www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops