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Safety pledge launched at CIWM conference

The Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) has launched a voluntary Health, Safety and Welfare Pledge for the waste and resource management sector to help raise awareness and go beyond the basic legal requirements.

The pledge is supported by the Environment Services Association (ESA), the Welsh Local Government Association and the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum. It is open to all organisations involved in waste and resource management, including operators, local authorities, social enterprises and regulators.

It follows a poor health and safety record, with 16 fatalities in the UK in 2012/13. The pledge is designed to build on and complement other key industry initiatives – you can sign up here.

CIWM president John Skidmore said: “The law requires organisations with more than five employees to have health and safety management policies but just having a policy is not enough. We want to encourage waste and recycling industry to really focus on their internal practices and systems to increase employee health and wellbeing, whilst cementing a long-term drive towards eliminating work-related incidents. It should be a core business imperative; after all, good health and safety practices save lives and save money.”

CIWM chief executive Steve Lee added: “This pledge asks signatories to make at least one improvement to their health and safety systems and we hope that organisations will encourage their employees to participate and contribute ideas that will not only reduce the risk of injury, but will also save money and protect against personal liability. By promoting the pledge, signposting useful guidance, and sharing good practice from signatories, CIWM is looking to provide a focal point for these efforts in the build-up to European Week for Safety and Health at Work to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to improving its record.”

ESA director general Barry Dennis said: “ESA has for many years been absolutely determined that health and safety is the first priority for its Member companies. Driven by our Accident Reduction Charter and Strategy, ESA Members have reduced accidents by almost 70% since 2004. ESA recognises that partnership working is key to replicating these results across the sector as a whole, and we are, therefore, delighted that CIWM is adding its considerable influence to this important issue.”

Chris Jones, chair of the GB WISH Forum, added: “Through the new health and safety strategy for the waste industry launched earlier this year, our aim is to cut incident rates by 10% year-on-year and reduce the number of fatalities to zero. This pledge is welcome in that it supports that aim and will help to maintain a strong focus on improving the industry’s record and sharing knowledge and good practice.”

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