RR1008 - National survey of the burden of sickness absence in the waste and recycling industry

The aim of the project was to provide HSE and the industry with reliable estimates of rates of sickness absence for specific categories of ill health and for key work tasks undertaken by workers.

32 different organisations provided data on the spells of sickness absence taken by their workforce, 28 local authorities and four private sector organisations, collectively employing approximately 7700 workers. The contribution of local authorities and private sector organisations to the total person years of follow up in the study was 41% and 59% respectively. Data was collected on 17,613 spells of absence taken by such workers, 8949 spells taken by local authority workers and 8664 taken by private sector workers.

The average number of working days lost to sickness absence in the waste and recycling workers surveyed as part of this study was 10.3 days. This equates to a working days absence rate of 4.0%. The sickness absence rates of the individual organisations participating in this survey varied widely, even when considering in isolation the rates for those organisations operating in the same industry sector and of similar size. For example, average local authority absence rates varied between a low of 7.8 days per worker per year up to a high of 24.0.

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Updated 2021-04-15