This guidance has been developed by the Waste Industry Health and Safety (WISH) Forum to help control safety and health risks in the waste management industry associated with occupational health issues. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were consulted in the production of this publication. It endorses the sensible, proportionate, reasonable, and balanced advice on managing risk during waste-related activities as set out in the guidance.

This guidance is aimed as an introduction to health surveillance and as such has been written for operators, site managers, supervisors, and anyone else who wishes to improve their knowledge of the issue. The guidance is relevant to all sectors and sub-sectors of the waste and recycling industry

WASTE 30 Health surveillance for the waste and recycling industry Feb 2021

The key aim of the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum is to recognise and promote activities to help improve health and safety performance in the waste industry.

To assist with this process the WISH Forum have created a list of Guidance documents on the topics summarised below.

To view the official guidance provided and maintained by the WISH Working Groups which comprises of industry experts, the HSE and other organisations please follow the link below:

WASTE 03 Orphaned compressed gas cylinders in waste and recycling industries
WASTE 04 Waste and recycling vehicles in street collection
WASTE 05 The safe use of refuse collection vehicle hoists and bins
WASTE 06 Skip and container safety in waste management and recycling
WASTE 08 Compaction equipment: User and public safety
WASTE 09 Safe transport in the waste management and recycling industry
WASTE 10 The safe recovery of petrol from end-of-life vehicles
WASTE 11 Safety at ‘bring-sites’ in the waste management and recycling industry
WASTE 13 Designing and operating material recycling facilities (MRFs) safely
WASTE 16 Reducing noise risks from kerbside glass collection
WASTE 18 Hand sorting of recyclables (‘totting’) with vehicle assistance
WASTE 21 Health and safety training in waste management and recycling
WASTE 22 Handling offensive/hygiene waste safely
WASTE 23 Safe waste and recycling collection services
WASTE 24 Highway cleansing – issue 2 October 2020
WASTE 25 Managing access to large waste and recycling bins
WASTE 26 Managing health and safety in civic amenity sites
WASTE 27 Health and hazardous substances in waste and recycling
WASTE 28 Reducing fire risk at waste management sites

This is version 11 of WISH’s COVID-19 information document released on 6 August 2021. At the time of its writing many restrictions relating to COVID-19 were being revised, relaxed, or withdrawn, in particular relating to public health.

For workplace health and safety, the onus has shifted from legally-required ‘rules’ to a more guidance-based approach with a greater emphasis on employer responsibility and assessment. As a result the nature of this information document has also changed.

To assist readers with these changes, a new forward has been added. PLEASE READ THIS FORWARD BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF THE DOCUMENT. As with previous versions, this document is based on government advice, industry experience and current knowledge, all of which is subject to change. You should first follow the latest government advice. Note, section 4 of this document gives general precautions and section 6 specific issues – readers should study both sections.

A summary of changes from version 9 to version 10 are as follows:

Section 1. Forward to Version 11

Changes from previous version: This forward is entirely new.

Section 2. COVID-19 and Waste Management

The only major change to this section are general updates and some additional mention of variants.

Section 3. Symptoms and what to do if an employee shows or reports the symptoms

Significant changes to this section are the removal of some links and detail pending potential changes in self-isolation rules.

Section 4. Controlling the spread of COVID-19 – General Precautions

Changes from previous version include revisions to reflect the shift in onus from statutory requirements to guidance and various updates to reflect the current developments in risk and risk outcome levels.

Section 5. Changes in Response to COVID-19

There are no significant changes to this section.

Section 6. Specific Advice

Changes from previous version include revisions to reflect the shift in onus from statutory requirements to guidance and various updates to reflect the current developments in risk and risk outcome levels.