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Local authorities warned to check H&S responsibilities

Local authorities are being reminded to check that they are clear about their health and safety responsibilities in procuring and managing waste and recycling services ahead of a programme of inspections that will start next month.

Over the next three years inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will look at the procurement and management of municipal waste and recycling services following the introduction of guidance in January that clarifies the legal duties on local authorities whether they deliver them in-house or contract them out.

The HSE is concerned that some mistakenly believe that contracting out these services relieves them of health and safety responsibilities.

HSE inspector Wayne Williams raised the concerns at the RWM exhibition this week. He said: “We are encouraging local authorities to come and see us at this event and get any help or advice they need. As clients local authorities have real influence on how services are delivered and they need to be using this influence to ensure it is done safely.”

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