The formal launch of a new competency framework for the waste management industry – claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK – has taken place in Glasgow, Scotland.
The framework was developed by the Switch Forum (Scottish Waste Industry Training Competency and Health & Safety) and focuses on a number of entry level disciplines, providing core competencies for all frontline roles in household, commercial and industrial waste management.
The latest Health and Safety Executive statistics for the UK show that although there has been a general decline in the rate of fatal injuries in the last 20 years, there were five fatal injuries to waste workers in 2014/15. The total number of fatal injuries to workers in the water and waste sector as a whole over the last five years was 37 - of which 33 were in the waste sector.
It was also highlighted that the most common kinds of accidents are caused by slips and trips, handling, lifting or carrying, and being struck by moving objects.
The Switch Forum, supported by Zero Waste Scotland, is made up of over 30 organisations from the waste and recycling industry.
The aim is to provide leadership by working together to raise standards of health and safety, training, learning, development and competence to promote the Scottish resource management industry as an attractive career choice.
Charlie Devine, head of resource management at Zero Waste Scotland, who chairs the Switch group, said: “There are still many hazards and risks associated with the resource management and recycling industry, and health and safety must remain the utmost priority. With the introduction of the new framework we hope that we can raise Health and Safety standards and start to enhance knowledge, skills and behaviours and improve the industry's health and safety record.”