Recycling boxes to be banned – Councils are being called on to stop ‘box type’ recycling/rubbish collections due to health and safety concerns, according to new research. A study by the University of Greenwich and published by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) warns that waste collection systems using boxes could be causing “significant” long-term musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) for workers.
Recycling boxes to be banned. Research published in the IOSH’s Policy and Practice in Health and Safety journal found that injury, damage or disorder of joints or other tissues in the upper or lower limbs or back reduced when wheeled bins were introduced. IOSH said local that authorities “should discontinue ‘box type’ collections on musculoskeletal disorder grounds as a matter of urgency”.
University of Greenwich academic David Thomas, a member of IOSH’s environmental and waste management group committee, said:
“The findings of this research present a timely opportunity for organisations to consider how they protect their workforces. Rather than organisations focusing on generic ‘capability’ for a ‘fit youngster’, they need to consider how they accommodate an ever-increasing ageing workforce when developing systems of work. It is also an opportunity for organisations to accept that their current methods of managing work can create ill-health problems and consider ways to make workforces more sustainable in the future including changing systems of work.”
Andy Robertson, chair of the IOSH environmental and waste management group, said:
“Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive show that around 70% of all workers in the waste management industry are involved in municipal household and commercial collections. These collections account for about 80% of all the reported injuries, with the most common being musculoskeletal disorders.”