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Waste industry safety blueprint delayed

An initiative to help the waste sector cut the high rate of deaths and injuries has been delayed.

An expected five-point plan of key proposals had been due this month following an industry summit in February organised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH).

But a spokesman for the HSE told MRW: “The WISH action plan is still under development and will need to be agreed by the WISH steering group before publication.

“HSE appreciates that this is a busy time of year for many in the industry and those who are contributing to the plan and recognises that it is important to take the time to get this right so it makes a lasting contribution to a safer and healthier industry.”

The intention is to reduce incident rates by 10% year-on-year and reduce the number of fatalities to zero. Measures will include leadership, workplace competence, employee involvement, support for small business, and creating safer, healthier workplaces.

In February, HSE chair Judith Hackitt said that it was the industry’s responsibility to spearhead the drive to create a safer work environment.

“We must work together to respond to the current challenges and drive improvements in health and safety performance, but improving the track record is not for HSE to resolve alone, industry must take the lead,” she said.

The waste industry is one of the UK’s most dangerous sectors with 97 workers and 19 members of the public being fatally injured, and 3,722 employees suffering major injuries in waste and recycling activities, between 2004/5 and 2011/12.

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