Irwin Mitchell | Newsletters | Regulatory Update | Health & safety in the waste management sector – a load of old rubbish ?

Health & Safety In The Waste Management Sector - A Load Of Old Rubbish?

The waste management industry is a booming sector within the UK and possibly one of the most heavily regulated. Whilst most operators recognise the need for such controls in order to protect their work force and the business itself, few recognise the far reaching implications of the regulations.

The duty of care the company owes to its employees and the public at large is not restricted to on-site locations. The regulations cover every aspect of the process from the procurement of the service through to collection of the material, processing the material and disposing of any waste left over from the processing phase.

Contained within each of these elements are more subtle considerations for businesses in this sector. Noise pollution is now a key consideration from the point of site location and initial granting an operating licence or environment permit, protecting the immediate area from the impact of the daily operating routine to providing employees and contractors with aural protection systems whilst on site / engaged in particular processes. This is only one example of the many facets now required by companies within the sector to adhere to and actively promote within the work force.

The regulations also require that appropriate information is displayed, disseminated and training is provided at all levels, training is provided at all levels of the business (including temporary, agency and contracted workers) in addition to supervision. These must be demonstrated to be adequate to the business and sufficient for the risks the workforce are exposed to.

This is an on-going duty which requires regular reviews and adaptations where the risks are increased or procedures become out-of-date. The responsibility of each employee is paramount and can vary according to their role within the company. In addition to discharging this duty for the purposes of the HSE, those sites which are licensed under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 require staff to demonstrate technical competence. If all of the above have been complied with, there are then often National Occupational Standards to consider, as developed by Trading Standards.

Sometimes the solutions are simple and the consequences of breach or non-compliance are high and disproportionate. Can you afford not to know all about it ?

If any of the matters covered affect you, or if you have any other concerns or queries which you would wish to discuss with us, please contact us in confidence for an initial no obligation discussion.

Also in September Newsletter

Trommel fines – The small particles producing the big headaches
Haulage Operators - Check your Operator Compliance Risk Score ‘OCRS’ and mitigate the risks

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Emma Windle