Calls For New Fire Safety Steps For Recycling Industry Backed

Legal Experts Back Recommendations For More Preventative Measures


By Rob Dixon

New calls for fire prevention steps to be reviewed and improved following a spate of recent incidents at sites in the UK, including two separate fires in the Midlands today (August 5th), have been welcomed by workplace injury lawyers.

West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service has said firefighters were called to a fire at a mill in the Penny Barr area of Birmingham this morning, not long after crews were also called to a fire at a site in Wolverhampton.

The two fires have emerged following a number of similar incidents in recent months, most notably a blaze at a recycling factory in Smethwick which was blamed on a Chinese lantern landing in the open-air site.

In addition, firefighters in Yorkshire tackled a blaze at a recycling transfer centre at a plant in Worksop over the weekend.

Industry experts including the Recycling Association have emphasised the industry is looking carefully at the issue and is looking at new ways to tackle the issue of fire safety, including the use of fire breaks.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell who has acted for workers and public injured in large industrial accidents, said the plans were an important step forward.

He outlined: “The recent spate of incidents has of course been a significant concern, with several firefighters being injured in the Smethwick blaze.

“To see such a trend develop is an obvious sign that steps need to be considering as to how safety can be improved, so we are hopeful that the industry as a whole is able to take a step back and look at what can be done to ensure comprehensive preventative measures are in place to mitigate risks.

“As we have said on numerous occasions, the health and safety of workers and the general public at large should always come first for all employers.

“A very considered look at safety issues could make all the difference and, hopefully, will ensure that future incidents of this kind do not lead to serious injuries or fatalities.”

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