HSE Statistics Show Waste Industry to be Among Most Dangerous

Shocking Rise to 14 Worker Fatalities in the UK’s Waste & Recycling Industry in 2016

The latest figures from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive show that fatalities in the waste and recycling industry more than doubled to 14 between April 2016 and March 2017.

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The latest figures from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that fatalities in the waste and recycling industry more than doubled to 14 between April 2016 and March 2017.

The figures make the industry the third most dangerous after construction with 30 fatalities and agriculture with 27. Across all industries 137 workers were fatally injured (a rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers), the second lowest figure on record.

The HSE noted that despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the average industry rate.

“Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks,” commented HSE Chair Martin Temple.

In July last year an incident in which a wall collapsed at Hawkeswood Recycling in the Nechells area of Birmingham resulted in the deaths of five workers.

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of this incident, our thoughts remain with the families of those who died. We continue to fully support West Midlands Police’s investigation,” said Temple.

“We deal daily with the causes and consequences of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health. We concentrate our interventions where we know we can have the biggest impact. We hold dutyholders accountable for managing the risks they create in the workplace. This benefits workers, business performance, the economy and wider society alike,” he concluded.

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