HSE finds potential for improvement by councils

Many councils are not managing safety effectively, for waste collections and the staff involved, and more generally.

Nearly one fifth of local authorities are not following important health and safety guidelines when procuring and managing waste and recycling contracts, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The findings come half way through an inspection initiative, being undertaken by the HSE, of the 407 councils in England, Scotland and Wales to determine areas where improvement is needed. The phased three-year inspection initiative was launched in October 2010 and will see all councils surveyed by October 2013.

Janet Viney said health and safety is an integral part of procuring and managing waste and recycling contracts.

As part of the survey, the HSE has published guidance for local authorities to help them comply with health and safety requirements when dealing with waste and recycling services.



Regrettably, the approach of local authorities to biosafety is particularly poor and the ‘findings’ of HSE should come as no surprise to us at this stage. It’s not a new problem.

Research by Blenkharn Environmental found that sharps management as part of the wider problem of drug litter removal is a cause for special concern since the guidance provided by many councils is patently wrong and obviously dangerous. The danger extends to staff and to members of the public, who may not be protected by prompt removal of discarded needles, or even encouraged to do it themselves without the benefit of any suitable tools or PPE. Making the situation worse is the patently absurd first aid advice offered by some local authorities.

Read more: Clinical_wastes_in_the_community_local_authority_management_of_discarded_drug_litter

Read more: Sharp awakening



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