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Waste industry SIG launches ‘personal’ campaign to improve sector’s safety record

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has launched a year-long campaign to improve the waste and recycling sector’s poor safety record. 

Waste industry SIG launches ‘personal’ campaign to improve sector’s safety record
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Headed by the CIWM’s health, safety and wellbeing special interest group (SIG), the “This time it’s personal” campaign aims to help members of the waste sector’s professional body improve workplace standards by challenging colleagues’ behaviour and recognising common human factors.

Designed to instill greater individual responsibility for OSH, the campaign also aims to encourage operatives to consider their responsibilities for wellbeing, use of personal protective equipment, traffic safety, and plant and equipment use.

The campaign, launched on 12 September, will feature a topic a month and will also seek to highlight good practice methods, encourage operatives to follow them and to benchmark themselves against good performers. The CIWM SIG also wants to encourage members to share successful workplace initiatives. 

Earlier this year, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published Common Human Factors Underlying Worker Fatalities in the Waste and Recycling Industry, which found that knowledge-based errors appeared to be the most significant human factor underlying fatal incidents. 

HSE statistics show that the fatal injury rate for waste and recycling workers is 15 times greater than the average rate across all industries over the five-year period 2012/13-2016/17, even though the sector accounts for about 0.4% of employees in Great Britain. 

The research identified two human factors areas to prioritise to reduce worker fatalities – the design, use and maintenance of equipment and safety management systems.

Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine 

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