In 1999 SITA UK signed a 25-year private finance initiative with South Gloucestershire Council for the collection and treatment of household waste and recyclable materials in the South Gloucestershire area.
In 2007, following a review of health and safety management after a SITA UK employee was struck by a third-party moving vehicle, SITA UK and South Gloucestershire Council began a programme of reviewing how collections were made in each of the roads that the crews were required to work in. At the same time, a health and safety partnership board was created to keep health and safety formally under review and acknowledge the shared responsibility in respect of section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
SITA UK initiated a road by road review of collection methods over a three-month period and presented the findings at the following health and safety partnership meeting. The main findings of the review was the need to increase the number of single-sided collections, restrict vehicle access times in roads with schools and a mandatory requirement for reversing assistants to be used for all reversing manoeuvres. South Gloucestershire Council agreed with these changes in the working method.
During 2008, a re-routing exercise evaluated potential efficiency savings for the authority. An agreed condition of the exercise was that it should not impact on the safety of collection crews, so the following principles were upheld:
Both SITA UK and South Gloucestershire will continue to carry out joint and independent monitoring of collections. The methodology for each collection is designated in the route risk assessment sheets and monitoring evaluates compliance with this as well as the working method.
The Health and Safety Partnership Board continues to meet at quarterly intervals and a standing agenda item in the accuracy of and compliance with the route risk assessments. Where significant changes to working methods are required due to road conditions altering, ie increased traffic flows or the building of a new housing development, these are agreed jointly.
The Partnership Board evaluates the safety of all waste collection and treatment activities and has recently started a joint publicity initiative to inform members of public of the hazards that can occur on civic amenity sites and some sensible precautions that can be taken to avoid them.