Campaigns and initiatives

The following pages outline:

  • A health and safety awareness raising campaign aimed at collection crews and
  • An initiative designed to make householders more aware of the safety of the people who collect their waste and recyclables

The attached documents (used in the pilot campaign rolled out in early 2006) can be downloaded/copied by any local authority or other organisation that may wish to organise a similar exercise, to help reduce the number of accidents and cases of ill health in kerbside collection activities in their regions.

The story so far


In 2005 HSE commissioned The Government's Central Office of Information (COI) Strategic Consultancy to research ways of effectively communicating health and safety messages to the waste and recycling industry to help reduce accident incidence rates. Key objectives included:

  • understanding how health and safety issues are received and interpreted by people working in the waste and recycling industry;
  • identifying what messages to communicate to whom; and
  • how best to communicate these to target groups.

The primary target was local government and private sector refuse workers. Interviewees included representative samples of front-line collection crews, commercial waste management company managers, local authority procurement officers and trade associations.

The report's final recommendations to HSE, were based on:

  • risks;
  • attitudes;
  • health and safety issues and work hazards including:
    • vehicle accidents and Musculoskeletal disorders.
    • safety culture;
    • work pressures;
    • training; and
    • perceived barriers to the health and safety message.

The report's conclusions:

  • can be found in 'CML market research report - H&S in Waste and Recycling, debrief - April 2005';
  • were incorporated, in part, in the HSE Waste and Recycling Unit's programme of work for 2005/06 - 07/08; and
  • resulted in the roll out of a pilot communications campaign targeting householders and collection crews working in Northampton, Cambridge and Leicester.


Pilot communications campaign in the waste/ recycling industry

Several approaches were piloted in the campaign using both direct and indirect influencing methods. Evaluation of the various methods was conducted by an independent organization.

The following were shown by evaluation to be effective at getting a message across:

Evaluation feedback forms

Any of the material provided in these pages can be used by companies or local authorities to support their own similar campaigns.

For further information please see:

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Updated 2021-06-30