A small improvement in the number of major injuries in the waste management sector is shown in the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures for the year, but the number of deaths has doubled.
Provisional statistics published by HSE show that in the UK between April 2012 and March 2013, the waste and recycling industry recorded 500 major injuries, slightly down from 512 in 2011/12.
The number of injuries accounts for nearly 370 per 100,000 employees.
There were also three deaths of members of the public, up from two the previous year.
Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities grew almost 5% between August 2012 and 2013, according to HSE.
There is a general downward trend in the rate of injury over the last eight years, but there is also significant year-to-year variation, especially in the number of fatalities.
Waste management remains a high-risk industry. Although it accounts for only about 0.6% of the employees in the UK it still accounts for 2.8% of reported injuries to employees
The statistic show in the last five years:
- 39% of fatalities are due to employees being struck by vehicles
- 37% of reported major injuries are due to slips and trips
- 35% of injuries that result in an employees taking more than seven days off work are due to handling
Graeme Walker, head of HSE’s waste and recycling sector, said: “Waste and recycling remains one of Britain’s higher risk industries. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure the number of people killed or harmed in this sector is reduced year on year.
“Though the numbers are slightly down on last year, too many people still fail to return home safely from work and we are continuing to work together with the industry to change this.
“HSE is committed to working with the industry to encourage the improvement of health and safety standards while reducing the amount of unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.”
In waste management, construction and agriculture, the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured, there was little change across the board.
- Across all UK industries 148 workers were killed at work in 2012/13. There were 78,000 other injuries to employees reported, an all-time low. This was an 11% drop in major industries compared the previous year.