Waste Management industry advised to brush-up on safety

Waste management workers will be urged not to recycle poor health and safety practices at a unique Royal Society for the Prevention for Accidents (RoSPA) conference next month.

RoSPA is hosting the full-day Health and Safety in Waste Management conference, supported by WAMITAB (Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board) to give sector professionals the chance to explore the latest developments – like the new Health and Safety Offences Act - and gain practical advice.

The event, on April 29, is approved by the Charted Institution of Waste Management (CIWM) and will feature nationally-recognised speakers, including Geoff Cox, head of the manufacturing sector at the health and Safety Executive (HSE), who will deliver the keynote address. Other speakers include Paul Thornber, health and safety manager at Veolia Environmental Services, and Dr Steve Thorpe, principal scientist at the Health and Safety Laboratory.

But delegates at the Stocksigns-sponsored conference in Berkshire, will have the chance to take away more than simply lessons learned from the speakers' expertise and experience. The event provides one day towards the CIWM's Graduate Structured Learning & Development Programme or six hours of Continuing Professional Development.

With around 4,000 incidents reported each year - four times the national average - safety in the waste management sector is an issue which needs addressing. In fact, the industry's overall accident rate is around 2,500 per 100,000 workers.

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA occupational safety adviser who is speaking at the conference, said: "Health and safety in the waste management industry cannot just be picked up as companies go along - a concerted effort is required to make the sector safer and more profitable.

"Those businesses which only take action grudgingly because of legal requirements need to get acquainted with the huge business case for reducing easily-preventable losses due to injury and ill health – especially during recession.

"But firms which refuse to change need to be brought to book, and thanks to the Health and Safety Offences Act, stiffer penalties will be meted out to the negligent.

"The Health and Safety in Waste Management conference offers an opportunity for guidance and networking so that those companies which are already doing well can build on their success, and those which are lagging behind can raise their game."

As befits a waste management conference, everything about the event will be "green." It will be held at the Sheepdrove Eco Centre, an award-winning venue designed, built and maintained on environmentally-conscious principles. Furthermore, all delegate equipment, from recycled notepads to pens made from car-parts, will be eco-friendly, and all communication to do with the event is being carried out electronically.

See www.rospa.com/events/ for a full programme. Alternatively, email events@rospa.com or call 0121 248 2120.