Health and safety in the recovered paper sector

Recovery of paper is an integral part of UK recycling and is the most important raw material for the British paper and board industry. Figures for 2003 confirm 4.4 million tonnes of recycled paper were re-used in UK papermaking, making the paper industry the UK's most successful recycler.

Before paper can be recycled, it is collected, sorted, graded and baled prior to transportation to mills. All these stages, unless properly controlled, can cause injury.

In January 2004 the British Recovered Paper Association became part of The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) and one of their objectives is to address the issue of health and safety in the recovered paper industry.

Following the successful implementation, development and maintenance of a scheme implemented by the papermaking sector a benchmark was established, and subsequently an action plan for the recovered paper industry has been drawn up to target;

  • balers and compactors;
  • transport;
  • slips, trips and falls;
  • training.

To ensure improvements in health and safety are driven forward, the CPI will;

  • provide regular analysis of all RIDDOR reportable accidents for members at depot level, (to use for targeting specific areas of concern, and to measure the impact of activities);
  • continue representation on the Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC), working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), unions, and other CPI sector bodies to ensure a strategic tripartite approach to further development and implementation;
  • recommend specific policies for the industry, so that best practice can be shared by members;
  • encourage industry participation, networking and facilitate best practice via regional health and safety meetings;
  • promote health and safety standards for all CPI Recovered Paper Sector Members outlined in HSE's guidance documents 'recover paper safely' and 'transporting paper safely'.

CPI together with industry, has produced an IOSH accredited training course specifically aimed at first line managers, supervisors and employees working to underpin the 'recover paper safely' guidance document.

CPI, through its dedicated public and member's area website, continues to provide Members with access to all relevant statistical analysis, action plans and guidance documents associated with the initiatives. You can visit the CPI website.

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Updated 2021-07-01