WISH releases new guidance on monitoring collections

The Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum has released a new guidance document on effective monitoring in waste and recycling collections, aimed at improving health and safety procedures in the waste management industry.

The document, ‘Effective proactive monitoring in waste and recycling collection activities’, written with the support of the Health and Safety Executive and prepared by health and safety practitioners, says that monitoring is a ‘core element’ of health and safety management and is particularly important in waste management due to the constantly changing environment during refuse and recycling collection activities.

The guidance is designed to assist those monitoring whether health and safety procedures and policies are actually being followed in the waste management sector, such as manager and supervisors employed by local authorities or private contractors.

Included in the document are two example checklists as an aid to those involved in monitoring. The checklists cover areas such as driver and vehicle safety, operative safety, public safety, client monitoring systems and provide best practice responses to the questions on each checklist. They are only examples however, and can be altered at the will of the individual organisation.

The guidance advises those tasked with implementing and monitoring health and safety procedures on how to carry out effective monitoring, reminding that they will need to decide on:

  • What to monitor and how to record it;
  • How to ensure all drivers and collection crews are covered by monitoring;
  • Who should carry out the monitoring – this should be at supervisor or manager level for crews and at management level for the monitoring of local authority clients, with some form of worker representation;
  • What training monitors will need – those undertaking monitoring must receive sufficient training and have an understanding and knowledge of legislation and contractors’ procedures;
  • How should they monitor;
  • How to inform crews about monitoring – it is important that those working understand the need for health and safety so that they follow procedures and take on feedback;
  • How often – it should be more often for key risks;
  • How to deal with non-compliance; and
  • How to report – all results must be reviewed, analysed and reported to senior management.

The guidance should be considered as best practice only, and not a set of legal requirements since the document goes beyond the minimum requirements set out in law.

You can view the full ‘Effective proactive monitoring in waste and recycling collection activities’ guidance document on the WISH Forum website.

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