According to provisional data from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), nine deaths were recorded for the year April 2010 to March 2011 – triple the number for the previous year.

The rate of fatal injury for 2010-11 is 8.7 per 100,000 workers, which is one of the highest for any industrial sector. Since 2005, 47 deaths in total have been recorded in the waste and recycling industry.

HSE’s head of waste & recycling, Peter Woolgar, said: “The increase in number of workers killed last year is disappointing and remains a serious cause for concern. The fact that nine people failed to come home safe and well from their jobs last year is a stark reminder to the industry that it still has a long way to go.

“The rate of injuries in the sector has consistently fallen in recent years, but we need to see this improvement transferred to fatal injuries and sustained. Waste and recycling must learn from other higher-risk industries and not fall behind in managing workplace risks.”

Maxine Perella

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