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Healthy action plan

While all companies in the recycling industry are fully aware of its poor accident record in recent years, efforts are being made to halt this trend and reduce the number of accidents.

According to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) recovered paper sector body, it is ready to tackle the issue of health and safety within the recovered paper sector head on.

The CPI says that is has already gained a benchmark from the successful implementation, development and maintenance of a similar scheme implemented by its paper-making sector. An initial action plan for the sector has already been drawn up targeting balers and compactors; transport; slips, trips and falls; and training.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prompted the action plan because the recovered industry has a high fatality rate, says Andrew Braund, head of health and safety at the CPI. In February this year we produced a document called Guidance for the Recovered Paper industry: Recover Paper Safely. We have taken that as an action plan and it will help the industry. The key areas to focus on are balers and compactors thats where people are getting killed.

Braund says that these areas were identified by the HSE for the recovered industry as a whole not just paper. Where accidents happened it might be an issue of hardware or training, he continues. The management of procedures also need to be monitored. We will be focusing on this over the next two years and, once the momentum is going, look at other areas.

In order to roll out health and safety improvements across the entire recovered paper sector, the sector body has announced a number of measures. Firstly, the CPI statistics department will provide regular analysis of all accidents reportable under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) 1995 for members at depot level. This, they say, will provide a tool for targeting specific areas of concern and measuring the impact of activities.

The sector body will continue to sit on the Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee with the HSE, unions and other CPI sector bodies to ensure a strategic tripartite approach to development and implementation.

A Recovered Paper Sector Industry Advisory Committee, chaired by the sector body and with representation from the Independent Waste Paper Processors Association (IWPPA) has been set up. This will recommend specific policies for the recovered paper industry, leading to best practice being adopted by all members.

Regional health and safety meetings, chaired by active members of the Sector Advisory Committee will also operate. According to the CPI, these are designed to broaden industry participation, encourage networking, facilitate best practice and ensure two-way communications between the strategic and tactical levels of the initiatives.



Standards

The accepted health and safety standards for all CPI Recovered Paper Sector Members will be those outlined in the HSE guidance documents Recover Paper Safely and Transporting Paper Safely.

IWPPA administration manager Mike Limb says that the association has been working closely with the CPI for some time to improve standards of health and safety. According to Limb, due to the importance of the subject any guidance and regulations should be industry wide, a view he says which is held by the HSE.

We began an initiative a couple of years ago called Revitalising Health and Safety, says Limb, and members signed up to the commitment. There is the ongoing collection of monthly statistics, which are passed on to the CPI. This information is collated and shows certain areas of weakness in particular slips, trips and falls.

According to Limb, as much as possible is being done to make people aware of potential hazards and to do something about it in terms of safe working procedures. The HSE statistics do show the recycling industry to be the worst in terms of accidents, he continues, but it is important to

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