The HSE has issued a renewed warning to the waste and recycling sector following a high number of fatalities recorded in recent months. In the twelve week period from June to September a total of nine deaths occurred in separate incidents, with over half of these arising in premises for skip hire and waste transfer.

Heather Bryant, HSE Leader on the Waste and Recycling Strategy, said that there was ‘no room for complacency’ in this sector and that companies should ensure proper control of their premises and equipment, particularly compactors and skip vehicles. She said that the HSE ‘would not hesitate to take action’ against companies if they found lives were being put at risk.

The HSE’s Waste and Recycling Strategy for 2012-15 highlights this sector as a ‘priority industry’ due to the high fatality rate – which is currently nine times the all industry average – as well as the continued expansion rate of the sector, and ‘unavoidable’ public interface.

The recent nine incidents are currently subject to ongoing HSE investigation.