RR609 - Collecting, transfer, treatment and processing household waste and recyclables

Given the potential increase in the number of employees working in the waste and recycling industry, it is reasonable to anticipate that there will be greater exposure to health and safety related hazards, particularly in collecting and sorting waste where human involvement is essential. In order to reduce the high accident rate within the waste and recycling industry, it is essential to ensure that considerations of health and safety are included in the decision-making process regarding which systems to operate. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified that the provision of appropriate guidance or tools could present a useful means of assisting Local Authorities, or organisations (including community organisations) that are responsible for delivering waste management services, to select the most appropriate systems to ensure environmental targets are met with the least possible health and safety risk.

As a means of obtaining this information, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) were jointly commissioned by HSE, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Government (SG), and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to undertake an assessment of the occupational health and safety risks of systems for collection, transfer, treatment and processing of household waste and recyclables.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the HSE, Defra, SG & WAG. Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and does not necessarily reflect HSE, Defra, SG & WAG policy.

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Updated 2021-04-22