Safety Alert and Updated Guidance Issued for the Waste Industry

June 12, 2024
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The Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) has issued a safety alert concerning hydraulically operated rear doors, hatches, and body sections on waste sector vehicles.

The safety alert follows a fatal accident in 2023 in which an individual was killed when working under the top-hinged hydraulically powered rear door of a road sweeper. The door’s mechanism failed, causing the door to shut and crush the worker. WISH highlights that people should not work under doors, hatches, and body sections that rely on hydraulic systems unless independent secondary protection is in place. Those using vehicles with these systems should ensure that risks have been assessed and controls put in place manage these risks.

Examples of controls could include fitting props, using dual cylinders with control monitoring, or using automatic anti-drop protection. Employees should also be appropriately trained in using controls, and equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained.

While this alert is specifically aimed at the waste industry a similar risk exists with all vehicles with hydraulically operated components, such as the bodies of tipper vehicles and similar controls will apply when working under any such raised part of a vehicle.

Separately WISH have also updated their guidance regarding the management of health and safety at Household Waste Recycling Centres and Civic Amenity Sites. The guidance provides general information on managing health and safety in these environments. This is split into two sections. The first describes general risks that could occur, such as traffic management, machinery safety, welfare, hygiene, first aid, and managing waste separation, and highlights specific controls that could be put in place to manage such risks. The second section focuses on more specific risks associated with these sites; this includes aerosols, batteries, fluorescent tubes, cathode ray tubes, garden chemicals, gas cylinders, household chemicals, thinners, solvents, and waste oils.

If you have any questions or would like support with managing issues at your workplace, please speak to your usual contact or get in touch using the form below.