Safety Blog

Toolbox Talk Waste

06 Jun 2020 - Flaaim

WHAT IS WASTE?

Waste is legally defined as anything which is generated by working processes or left over from input materials. It doesn’t matter if it will be re-used or re-cycled by others; if you don’t need or want it then it counts as waste and you have a statutory duty of care under the Waste Management Duty of Care 1996 regulations to deal with it properly. There are 2 types of waste:

COMMERCIAL WASTE:

Rubbish, which is produced by offices.

INDUSTRIAL WASTE:

Waste generated from gas, water or electricity supply premises. All waste from construction sites is classed as industrial waste

BOTH COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE MUST NOT BE MIXED WITH HOUSEHOLD WASTE

DUTY OF CARE

Everyone has a part to play in ensuring that Lorne Stewart meets its statutory duty of care with regards to waste management:

  1. Preventing others from depositing, storing, treating or otherwise depositing of waste without a license.
  2. Prevent waste from escaping.
  3. Ensure waste is only transferred to an authorised person.
  4. Issue transfer notes.

    WASTE CARRIER

    A waste carrier is someone who will take the waste away either to a waste manager or to a final disposal point. The Health and Safety Executive license waste carriers and some companies hold a licence for the transport of waste from sites. We have a duty to ensure that any carriers we use are registered and to check with the regulating authorities to ensure that their registration is valid.

TRANSFER NOTES

Transfer notes must be completed by all parties and the carrier must always be in possession whilst transferring waste. We must retain copies of all transfer notes for two years on the contract file.

PENALTIES

Currently penalties for violations stand at fines of up to £20,000 in the Magistrates Court and unlimited fines and up to 2 years imprisonment for convictions in the Crown Court.

WASTE HAZARDS TO HUMANS FROM HANDLING WASTE

Waste handling represents, typically, three key hazards:

  1. MANUAL HANDLING: Those responsible for gathering up the waste and transporting it to central collection points are exposed to hazards associated with the bulk of that which they are moving. Correct lifting principles should be adopted at all times.
  2. FIRE: Waste as it accumulates, from waste paper bins to waste disposal skips typically found on construction and residential sites, represents a fire hazard. Waste areas should be monitored and reported if bins or skips begin to get over full.
  3. CONTAMINATION: Some types of waste, including food debris and materials generated during first aid treatment are potential sources of personal contamination. These should not be placed amongst industrial waste.

    CONSTRUCTION WASTE

Building waste from construction work will require the use of a skip. No toxic waste should be placed in the skip; toxic is defined as material which, if it were supplied in a labelled container, would have the toxic (skull and crossbones) sign on it, so this applies to organic solvents and similar materials not likely to be found in the office environment except when building work is being undertaken.

HAZARDOUS WASTE MATERIALS

Such as large numbers of fluorescent tubes, medical waste and toxic waste should be segregated and safely held until collected by a specialist waste contractor.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AT WORK?

  1. If you think that waste is not being disposed of properly, notify your supervisor.
  2. Do not carry waste for other producers unless you are certain that it does not present any problems with disposal.
  3. Always complete a waste transfer note either our own or the licensed waste carrier.
  4. Never mix commercial and industrial waste.
  5. Minimise waste accumulation by ensuring that you observe good house keeping principles, do not ignore over filled bins and skips.
  6. Clean and clear up after your work daily.

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