Tackling Safety in the Waste Industry

The waste industry is officially one of the most dangerous sectors to work in across the world. The latest UK figures issued by the Health and Safety Executive reveal that fatalities among waste management workers have increased, with 12 deaths reported, up from eight the previous year. There were also 5,000 non-fatal injuries recorded. Fatalities in the UK were 16 times higher in the year to 2018 than the average across all industries.

These startling figures are a major concern for the industry. Among the tragic deaths was that of refuse worker Paul Abbott, 59, who was killed in December 2018 following a collision with a refuse truck in Ealing, London. In February 2019, a waste management company was fined £1 million plus costs after one of its employees, 60-year-old John Head, was killed by a reversing refuse collection vehicle.

Being struck by a vehicle is extremely high risk for the waste sector, which sees workers regularly operating in environments with heavy machinery and moving vehicles.

And it isn’t only among refse workers that accidents occur. A major investigation was launched in July 2018 when a member of the public, 63-year-old Steve Cooper, was killed near his home in Croydon, Surrey, after being struck by a refuse truck.

Brigade can help save lives

The introduction of vehicle safety systems is helping to combat the problems faced by those operating in the industry. Vehicle blind spots are a major factor in causing collisions. The complex shape and size of waste management vehicles limit the driver’s visibility, making accidents far more likely.

All round vehicle visibility has been proven to reduce collisions and improve safety. Camera safety systems, such as Brigade’s Backeye®360, are an example of how safety is being improved. Backeye®360 provides a real-time surround view of the vehicle in one single image, eliminating blind spots and saving the driver from having to process information from several monitors or mirrors in quick succession. This makes it much easier to spot, assess and react to possible hazards.

When vehicles are involved in an incident, the lack of solid evidence can lead to uncertainty and time-consuming investigations. Research into the benefits of recording camera footage from

vehicles has found it encourages driver best practice. Brigade’s Mobile Digital Recorder (MDR) captures footage from vehicle-mounted cameras. The recorded footage from the MDR offers irrefutable evidence in the case of an accident or dispute.

Saving and protecting lives is our single and most important objective. If you’d like more details about our products, please get in touch here.