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HSE targets recycling

An enforcement campaign has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries that occur in the recycling industry.

In particular, the nationwide campaign will see HSE inspectors targeting the scrap metal, rubber, paper and wood industries over the next three years to ensure that correct procedures are in place for working on machinery.

HSE principal inspector in the manufacturing sector Chris Flint said: Machines still kill people. HSE inspectors all too regularly investigate fatalities at machinery. Its not as if the risks of moving machinery are new people need to stop and think before they work on a machine. It is not enough for managers to provide safeguards and introduce a power isolation and lock off procedure and assume employees will follow it.

People need to be carefully trained in the procedure and supervised by a competent manager. Senior management must carry out regular checks to confirm the procedure is always followed. Anything less and people will continue to be killed.

Between April 2001 and March 2004, 11 people were killed in the recycling of scrap and waste.

HSE inspectors will be visiting manufacturing and recycling facilities over the next three years to raise awareness about the risk and standards required for safe isolation and lock off, ensure through formal enforcement that robust isolation and lock off procedures are implemented and ensure that employers put in place sound risk control procedures.

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