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HSE releases guidelines on MRF design and operation

Guidelines on designing and operating material recovery facilities (MRFs) have been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The nine-page document was produced in consultation with its subgroup Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH).

It intends to provide guidance to designers, managers, supervisors and users of material recovery facilities (MRFs), but also to industry consultants and workers.

“There has been an increase in the use of MRFs in the UK because of changes in waste management operations,” the HSE document stated, “This guidance highlights the main health and safety issues to consider when designing, installing, making alterations to, or operating an MRF. It also provides guidance on welfare issues in MRFs.”

It includes recommendations on risk assessments, machinery, dust and noise, fires, and on how to provide the right working environment for pickers.

For example, it advises providing isolated picking cabins, rather than letting pickers operate from picking belts exposed to hazards such as noise, moving vehicles, excessive dust and vibration.

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