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WISH releases waste fire guidance

The Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum has issued new guidance to provide site operators with information and standards to reduce fire risk.

The new guidance was produced with input from the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, the Health and Safety Laboratories, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and other bodies.

Its publication builds on a draft document in August which was criticised by tyre recyclers who felt that they had been left out of the consultation.

The guidance is in two parts. Part one defines the scope and the fire risks faced by waste and recycling sites, while the second covers fire control guidance in four themes: whole site issues; issues in reception; issues during treatment; and storage of waste. Appendices provide recommendations on maximum stack size, accident and emergency plans, and how to assess whether fire control is adequate.

Geoff Smallwood, who chaired the cross-industry group, said: “To date there has been no industry-generated guidance that site operators can use to assess whether their sites meet good practice and have in place appropriate controls. The WISH guidance aims to fill this gap and provide waste site operators with the tools and information they need to reduce fire risk.”

Roy Wilsher, operations director at CFOA said: “This hugely useful document, which will help waste and recycling site operators to manage their fire risk more effectively, is a great example of the collaborative working that the waste industry has undertaken to effect positive change.”

ESA director-general Barry Dennis added: “The basic premise is that it is unacceptable to store combustible waste material in large and uncontrolled piles. Solutions are offered to safely manage the storage of materials susceptible to combustion. We recommend that all operators consult this guidance when planning the storage of combustible waste materials on their sites.”

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