Vehicle accidents, falls from height, infections and crushing - just some of the everyday dangers regularly faced by mobile workers who carry out waste management tasks.
There have been significant improvements in safety standards in recent years but the statistics show that waste management remains as one of the riskiest areas to work in the UK.
Annually, around 5,000 workers in the waste sector sustained a nonfatal injury at work. Whilst the total number of fatal injuries in the waste sector at 39, over the last five years.
The fatal injury rate for workers in the waste sector was 6.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers, over the five-year period from 2012/13 to 2016/17.
Putting this number in context, the fatal injury rate in the waste sector is approximately 15 times greater than the rate across all industries (over this five-year period) and over three times greater than the rate in the construction sector, highlighting the fundamental need to introduce a new system for safer working practises.
One development which is transforming the way organisations are able to protect the health of their workers is digital workforce management and waste management software. These systems allow managers to organise and monitor the actions of mobile workers via a smartphone app.
The app provides each operative with all of the information they need to get any job done - including health and safety guidance and compliance checks. It means that instead of a waste management company having to rely on workers to follow the correct procedures - they can become an integrated part of employee workflows.
Enforcing safety checks
The MyMobileWorkers system allows companies to set-up specific safety checks for different kinds of waste management tasks - whether it’s a job requiring vehicle checks or that a valid Waste Transfer Note has been completed. Ensuring that they can't be skipped, heightening worker safety.
The real-time nature of the system means that any safety issues can be spotted and addressed immediately. Tasks can also be created which require waste management workers to provide a photograph to show proper safety procedures.
This more effective form of monitoring helps to protect the safety of each worker - ensuring they are working within the guidelines. In doing so, it also helps to significantly reduce the risk posed to companies by any breaches of health and safety law.
Verify compliance procedures
A digital workforce management system automatically generates a detailed log of all safety checks; who, when and where each safety procedure was completed. This can include an employee's electronic signature to verify compliance.
Full image credit: FreeImages.com Davide Guglielmo