We and the Yorwaste Group were saddened to learn of the recent death of an industry worker, and injury of two others, in an explosion at a recycling plant in the West Midlands*. Our thoughts are with those involved.
Further news that the waste and recycling sector is one of the most dangerous in the country is alarming. According to figures released by the HSE in July, the number of people fatally injured in the industry more than doubled between 2015/16 and 2016/17, with 14 people killed. Relative to the number employed in the industry, this is high.
Acknowledging the risks, the Yorwaste Group have put safety firmly at the heart of all we do. Safety is first of the Group's five core values, with the principle that no job is too important that it can’t be done safely. The Group set firm targets in key areas of health & safety and, we're pleased to say, this focus on safety is paying dividends. All targets are either being achieved or on track to achieve. Incidents are well down in number and their severity quite low. Over the past three years, reported injuries have reduced by 71%
A Group incentive scheme may play a small part in this, rewarding all staff with an extra day's paid holiday for an incident-free period. Whether this has played a part or whether our staff have simply taken seriously the duty of care call for themselves and their colleagues, the fact that the Yorwaste Group is bucking the trend of accidents in the workplace is worth celebrating.