There have been a number of incidents reported this year across the waste industry of people being found sleeping in waste containers. Unfortunately several of these incidents have proved to be fatal after the individuals have been tipped into the refuse truck and then subsequently crushed.
People looking for shelter and a ‘safe place’ to sleep is a real problem, particularly at this time of year with low temperatures and the party season looming, it is not only homeless people that we find in waste containers but revellers who may have enjoyed a little too much Christmas spirit.
Our drivers do everything they possibly can to ensure that no-one is inside the containers before they get tipped into the compaction vehicle but it is sometimes impossible to spot someone buried under layers of cardboard or other recyclables.
We share a common responsibility and Duty of Care to ensure that our activities at work do not have an adverse effect on people and this extends to the storage and collection of waste and recyclable materials.
Here’s how you can help us to minimise the risk:
- Ensure your waste containers are stored in a secure location
- Lock your containers to prevent access
- Contact the Customer Services Team if container lids or locks are damaged
- Check for signs of activity around your containers; is there something that could be used to access the container, or provide an indication that someone is inside e.g. a pallet leaning against it?
Please pass on this message to all your work colleagues, friends and family and hopefully, by raising awareness amongst all of our customers, this will help save a life!
Further informaion and free guidance is available via the HSE website by following the linkhttp://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/waste25.pdf