In light of this week’s announcements on changes to restrictions, the Scottish Government have launched two new campaigns: September Restrictions and Stop The Spread, both of which are detailed below. Attached is the Stakeholder Toolkit which outlines all partner assets available. Both campaigns are aimed at all audiences and up-weighted to the 18-44 years audience, and both will be running initially for 2 weeks on TV, Radio, VOD, PPC, print, digital and social channels.

September Restrictions Campaign

This provides information of the new restrictions that have come into force.

Stop the Spread Campaign

This activity encourages compliance with both the new restrictions and the existing guidance.

Please Share

We would appreciate you supporting the campaign by sharing with your audiences and posting on your social channels with the hashtag #WeareScotland

Available Assets

There are individual links to campaign elements in the stakeholder toolkit, however if you would like to download all assets in one folder you can find the link below:

The Health and Safety Executive recently released a report on bioaerosol issues at various municipal waste handling sites, including Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plants, waste transfer stations, and Energy from waste (EFW) plants. The aim of this study was to better understand the risk of exposure to dust and bioaerosols whilst handling municipal waste, the bulk of which occurs on waste transfer stations, and on waste treatment plants. To highlight achievable control standards, the study only recruited companies that were seen to employ “reasonably good health and safety management practices”.

Bioaerosols are airborne particles or clumps containing biological material, such as microorganisms (like bacteria, fungi, and viruses), pollens, or cellular components (e.g. endotoxins). They are found in nature at low, harmless background levels. However, high concentrations of bioaerosols can be emitted by certain human processes – particularly those involving organic matter – and these concentrations can cause human health problems, including respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis.

What were the findings & recommendations of the HSE report?

There were three activities that were discovered to pose a risk of higher bioaerosol exposure, and therefore presented health risks to workers. These were:

  • Cleaning & maintenance – this often means workers are in closer contact with untreated waste, and certain methods (e.g. dry sweeping) can generate lots of airborne dust
  • Automatic sorting and processing of waste, after waste had undergone bio-drying
  • Hand-sorting waste to recover dry cell batteries from the waste stream


As such, bioaerosols and dust could be controlled by further enclosing sorting machinery and conveyor systems, to reduce the exposure risk for staff. Additionally, reducing the amount of cleaning needed (e.g. by preventing spills), and using cleaning techniques with lower levels of dust disturbance, should be considered.

Although bioaerosols main exposure route is through inhalation, there is also a risk of dermal exposure to waste, which could result in accidental ingestion of microorganisms through hand-to-mouth transfer. This can cause gastro-intestinal infections. This risk emphasises the importance of good hand-washing facilities, and an effective site lay-out that encourages workers to clean and change their clothing as they move through certain site areas.

The report recommended that operators of both MBT plants and waste transfer stations should measure the possible impacts of dust and bioaerosol exposure on their sites. Waste Transfer Stations are thought to present a higher risk due to there being more open waste. EFW plants, on the other hand, do not need to assess bioaerosol risks as their automated operations, and segregation of staff from dust and bioaerosols, means there is a low potential for exposure.

What does this mean for the waste management industry?

It is currently well-known that there are environmental bioaerosol risks associated with composting and Anaerobic Digestion sites, as is mentioned in the M9 Technical Guidance Note on bioaerosol monitoring. As such, many of these types of sites need to conduct environmental monitoring (especially if there are any sensitive receptors near the site). Environmental monitoring aims to measure the bioaerosol concentrations emitted into the external environment by following the M9 protocol.

However, this study from the HSE refers to occupational monitoring: the monitoring of bioaerosol concentrations that a site’s employees are exposed to. It is important to distinguish the two, so that operators of waste treatment facilities know which type of bioaerosol monitoring they are likely to need to ensure that their site is safe and compliant.

The companies involved in the HSE study all regularly monitored occupational exposure to inhalable dust, but none did so with bioaerosols. This identifies an area where companies may not be doing all that they can to ensure site safety. However, the HSE recognised that systematically assessing bioaerosol exposure can be complex and expensive, and so the fundamental requirement of waste transfer sites and MBTs is to “apply the hierarchy of control and employ good control practices in line with COSHH”.

The need to recycle an increasing proportion of organic materials is only rising, due to various Government targets, such as Scotland’s ban on all municipal biodegradable waste going to landfill by 2025. As such, it is likely to become more important for the waste treatment industry to conduct bioaerosol monitoring and bioaerosol risk assessments, so that waste operators are equipped to treat ever-increasing quantities of organic material whilst keeping their workers safe and healthy.

A summary of the lets recycle article can be found on, and the original HSE report is found here

Written by Jennifer Kowalski, Environmental Scientist at The Open University

In 2018, 14 people died on Scotland’s Road due to fatigue equating to 9% of all road deaths. However, experts estimate that the real figure is much higher, with up to 30% of all collisions involving driver fatigue.

To address the serious issue of driver fatigue, the Scottish Government together with the Road Safety Scotland have launched a new campaign with a clear message for all drivers “Driving Tired Kills”

Scottish Union Learning in partnership with Digital Skills Education Ltd is offering a free, interactive online cyber resilience course for workers across Scotland:

Developing cyber resilience skills: A learning toolkit for workers’

This course we will give you tips and hints about how to provide cyber support skills, or training for your colleagues.

The course will cover:

  • Keeping smartphones and laptops secure – making workers more cyber resilient – Thursday 24 September from 2pm to 3pm or Friday 25 September from 11am to 12pm
  • Safer web browsing and spotting phishing attacks – building the digital confidence of workers – Thursday 1 October from 11am to 12pm or 2pm to 3pm
  • Picking better passwords – encouraging an understanding of the fundamentals of cyber security# – Thursday 8 October from 11am to 12pm or 2pm to 3pm

The course is ideally suited for any worker who is keen to develop their own skills and want to share this knowledge with colleagues.

To find out more register at any of the events here

For more information contact Karina Liptrot

HSE publish updated guidance for extensions to first aid and other related qualification certificates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Summary:


  • First Aid at work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020 can be extended until 31st October, or 6 months from expiry date, whichever is later. Criteria set out in the guidance must be met to qualify for an extension.  All requalification training for these certificates must be completed by 31st March 2021.
  • Offshore Medic (OM) and Offshore First Aid (OFA) certificates can be extended until 31st October 2020 only.
  • Flexibilities previously allowed in Scotland and Wales have now ended, (as lockdown restrictions are now more frequently targeted at specific geographical areas rather than nations), and the updated guidance will apply to all of GB.


Free Webinar Wednesday 23rd September – SWITCH Ambassadors Alasdair Meldrum and David Goodenough are delivering a presentation at the IOSH Environmental Waste Management Group meeting.

Alasdair will give an introduction to SWITCH as well as an update on how they have supported the sector through Covid 19.

David will then talk about Covid 19 lessons learned for a Local Authority. David will take us through the key issues which arose trying to keep a collection service operational during Covid 19 and how health, safety and training issues were resolved.

This webinar will provide members with a better understanding of the SWITCH forum and how it can support IOSH members and the lessons learned during COVID-19. Register now