Waste Sector Sees Reduction In Fatal Injuries

According to the latest injury and ill health statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the number of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the waste and recycling sector has fallen.

The overall trend for injury numbers in waste and recycling over the last few years is falling, the HSE confirmed. But it is still “much higher” than in the agriculture and construction sectors, it said.

In 2013/14p the waste industry saw four fatal injuries to workers, including two fatal injuries to self-employed people. This compares with an average of nine over the previous five years.

Judith Hackitt, HSE – “We should remind ourselves what these numbers actually mean – the number of times in the last year someone went out to work and either did not return home to their loved ones or came home with life changing injuries”

There was one fatal injury to a member of the public, compared to an average of two a year over the previous five years, the same as the five-year average for construction.

In the 5 years from 2009/10 to 2013/14 almost three in ten fatalities (29 percent) were due to being struck by vehicles and nearly four in ten reported major/specified injuries (39 percent) were due to slips and trips.

Waste and recycling is a high-risk industry. It accounts for only about 0.5 percent of the employees in Britain, but 2.6 percent of reported injuries to employees (2.2 percent fatalities, 2.6 percent major/specified and 2.7 percent of over-seven-day injuries.)

Downward Trend

HSE figures published in October last year (2013) showed an 11 percent drop in major injuries compared to 2011/12.

The waste and recycling sector accrues 369.8 major injuries per 100,000 employees, according to the October figures.

The October report revealed a “general downward” trend in the rate of injury over the last eight years in the waste and recycling industry, but there is also significant year-to-year variation, especially in the number of fatalities, according to the HSE. Injury numbers have been falling for the last four years or longer.

UK Health & Safety

Despite injury figures in the waste and recycling industry still being too high, the HSE revealed that Britain continues to be one of the safest places to work in Europe.

28.2m working days were lost in the UK due to work related ill health or injury in 2013/14.

As a result, the cost to society from such injuries and new cases of ill health due to current working conditions is an estimated £14.2bn (2012/13 figures based on 2012 prices).

The statistics show that, in 2013/14, the UK saw:

  • 133 fatal injuries – a fall from 150 the previous year
  • 77,593 other injuries reported under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). That equates to 304.6 injuries per 100,000 employees
  • an estimated two million people in 2013/14 suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by current or past work.

Judith Hackitt said: “These latest figures remind us what health and safety is really about. We should remind ourselves what these numbers actually mean – the number of times in the last year someone went out to work and either did not return home to their loved ones or came home with life changing injuries…

“We all need to commit to focussing on what really matters – ensuring more people return home from work every day and enjoy long and healthy working lives.”

Welfare Pledge

CIWM launched its Health and Safety Welfare Pledge in response to the waste and resource industry’s performance on health and safety being one of the worst in the UK and Ireland.

One of CIWM’s objectives is to raise awareness and promote actions about the health, safety and welfare issues faced by our industry every day.

The law requires organisations with more than 5 employees to have health & safety management policies.

CIWM is asking you and your organisation to do a little bit extra and go above and beyond the law by striving to make your place of work healthier and safer.

To read the full report CLICK HERE

For information on CIWM’s Health Safety and Welfare Pledge CLICK HERE 


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