The call was in a new position statement from the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum and was made in response to the recent death of a waste collection operative in Coventry.

All operators were urged to review their use of semi-automatic and automatic bin lifting equipment ‘against the information included in Waste 04 (Waste and Recycling vehicles in street collection), WISH INFO 10, WISH REF02, and the information provided by their bin-lift supplier/s.’

The statement, which was written in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), also stressed the need to ensure that there are safe systems of work in place, including risk assessments and instructions to operatives.

‘The measures outlined above are “procedural”, such as setting rules, instructing, and training workers in what to do and what not to do. Procedural controls are known not to be 100% effective at all times – people do not always “do the right thing”,’ the statement concludes.

‘More effective are physical controls, such as physical machinery safety measures. WISH would urge the industry and suppliers to work together to develop effective and practical physical controls so that over time the current unacceptable toll of accidents and fatalities involving bin-lift mechanisms is bought to an end.’