On average, 250 employees and self-employed individuals are killed every year due to accidents in the workplace. A further 150,000 sustain injuries that mean they are absent from work for more than 3 days. Recycling of organic waste is a growing sector which will need to employ more workers to operate the systems. This presents a challenge in managing occupational hazards, often associated with transport, operation of heavy machinery, hazardous substances and bioaerosols. Compost UK, an open windrow composting site in Durham, understand the importance of health and safety in the waste industry and have commissioned WRM on a retained basis to support the management of health and safety on their site, including compliance audits, risk assessments and staff training.
Compliance audit: WRM undertake annual Health and Safety compliance audits on the site. This ensures that the site remains compliant with the latest updates to Health and Safety regulations. It also serves as a gap analysis, identifying areas for improvement and mitigating any risks before they become a significant hazard.
Risk Assessments: WRM have conducted a wide range of on site risk assessments for high risk activities, including use of machinery, traffic management, hazardous substances, manual handling and working from height. To ensure that all hazards and control measures are identified, WRM ran a workshop with the site operatives who use the equipment on a daily basis. This maintains the accuracy of the risk assessment, whilst simultaneously engaging employees by creating a sense of ownership around Health and Safety issues.
To conduct Risk Assessments we follow 5 essential steps:
Step 1: Identify the hazards.
Step 2: Decide who is at risk.
Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on control measures.
Step 4: Record findings.
Step 5: Periodically review the assessment and update as and when necessary.
Staff training: WRM are also responsible for carrying out staff Health and Safety training at Compost UK, covering the risk assessments, emergency procedures, maintenance and housekeeping requirements, and fire safety. Providing Health and Safety training develops a positive Health and Safety culture, where safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone. It also helps the site to meet their legal Health and Safety duties and avoid the financial costs of accidents and occupational ill health.
Traffic Management Plan: There is a high level of vehicle activity on site, as there are many visitor vehicles offloading waste inputs or loading compost product, as well as internal vehicles moving material around the site. There is also a public road which runs adjacent to the eastern boundary of the site. The site operates a Pedestrian Free Policy and WRM have developed a Traffic Management Plan which covers important traffic information and the Site Traffic Rules for staff, contractors, and visitors. Aspects of the plan include:
· Site rules for staff, visitors and contractors
· Site hazard check: lighting, blind spots, tight corners, pedestrian zones and periods of pedestrian movement
· Site policies: reckless driving, minimum training requirements, minimum PPE requirements and vehicle reversing
· Site layout: Parking arrangements & traffic zones
· Safety Signage
· Details of banksman services
Testimonial: "WRM are a valuable asset to our company. I have confidence that we are compliant with Health and Safety legislation and that my staff fully understand the Health and Savety risks and control measures of their operations." - Andrew Thompson, Director, Compost UK
WRM employees have completed NEBOSH training— a widely recognised and reputable course for Health & Safety across various sectors. If you would like to improve or review the health and safety of your workplace, please contact Matthew Stupples to arrange an initial health and safety assessment.