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HSE announces planned inspections of waste management vehicles

A wave of inspections of transport risks in waste management operations will take place in 2010-11, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced.

The inspections will focus on skip-hire operations and waste management companies where waste is hand sorted, two areas that represent a disproportionately high level of accidents.

A HSE spokesperson said: “The waste and recycling industry has an overall accident rate which is around four times the UK average, with a fatal accident rate around nine times the average for all industries.

“Feedback from recent inspections in the waste and recycling industry indicates that there are often poor standards of traffic management including inappropriate site layout, issues with reversing vehicles and the failure to properly segregate vehicles and pedestrians.”

The project aims to raise awareness of the risks associated with workplace transport issues in the operation of skip-hire sites, particularly those where totting takes place with vehicular assistance; reduce accidents and to ensure compliance with industry guidance.

Construction Equipment Association director of member services Tim Faithfull said he welcomed the inspections, provided “it’s done properly and sensibly, as I’m sure it will be”.

He added: “There’s a significant contribution a machine can make to site safety. Manufacturers do that by designing according to the ISO set standards and, of course, the machinery directive. But it always comes down to proper workplace management supervision, training of staff and segregation of vehicles from the workers.”

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