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RR701 - Update to mapping health and safety standards in the UK waste industry

This report describes an update to a previous study on the nature of the UK waste industry and its health and safety standards.

Employment figures were updated and it is estimated that around 176,000 people are employed in waste and recycling services in the UK in 2005/06. This employment figure was combined with updated accident numbers to reveal that the overall accident rate for workers in the waste industry has been decreasing recently.

High risk areas appeared to have remained relatively constant over the ten-year period. Industries providing general public services and sewage/refuse disposal remained significant. Handling sprains, trips and struckby accidents were the most prolific types of accident. Occupations most likely to be involved in accidents were those related to refuse handling and driver jobs and individuals were likely to have been collecting or handling refuse when they had the accident.

Recommendations include understanding the impact of recycling, and the different profiles of over 3-day and major injury accidents, on the accident rates.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19