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Plastics industry accidents 'on downward trend'

Handling and falls are the main causes of accidents in plastic recycling plants, a survey has found.

The British Plastics Federation’s annual accident survey for 2012 showed that 23% of accidents in the plastics recycling sector resulted from handling and 16% from slips, trips or falls.

Across the whole industry, accidents of all kinds were “on a downward trend”, BPF industrial health and safety committee chair Mike Jones said.

Plastics recycling saw 14 major incident notifiable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (Riddor) and 183 minor non-reportable accidents.

The sector had the third highest accident rate in terms of Riddor per 1,000 hours worked at 1359.22, against 1,576.99 for rotational moulding and 1,439.79 for raw material suppliers. Distribution had the lowest level at 539.08

Other significant causes were cuts (14%) and being hit by moving objects (12%).

The survey drew responses from 122 companies - the highest total since 2004, of which 11 were in recycling, covering 1,030 employees.

Jones said: “The survey indicates that generally the number of accidents is on a downward trend which is great news for the industry. We still have a long way to go.”

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