The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has launched a voluntary Health, Safety and Welfare Pledge for the sector.
The pledge, launched at the CIWM’s annual conference (11 June), aims to encourage organisations to take health and safety actions over and above the basic legal requirements.
It is open to all companies and organisations involved in waste and resource management, including operators, local authorities, social enterprises, service and product suppliers and buyers, and regulators. Signing up is free and the list of signatories is to be published on the CIWM website along with the actions they have proposed.
The pledge has gained support from key industry bodies including the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Welsh Local Government Association, and the Waste Industry Safety & Health (WISH) Forum.
The pledge complements other industry initiatives, including the Accident Reduction Charter introduced by the ESA and HSE in 2004, and the work of the WISH Forum and WISH Northern Ireland.
The pledge comes after the HSE published its safety blueprint from the WISH Forum last week, setting out a five-point plan to reduce fatalities in waste management.
Announcing the pledge, CIWM president John Skidmore said: “The law requires organisations with more than five employees to have health and safety management policies, but just having a policy is not enough.
“We want to encourage the waste and recycling industry to really focus on their internal practices and systems to increase employee health and wellbeing, whilst cementing a long-term drive towards eliminating work-related incidents.”
Skidmore added that health and safety is “a core business imperative” as it saves lives and money.
The waste and resource industry had 16 fatalities in the UK during 2012/13.
In September 2012, the HSE issued a warning that efforts to improve worker safety within the industry must improve, following nine deaths over a 12-week period.