7 August 2020 by James Langley

Staff incidents at separate HWRC sites

The emergency services were called to two separate incidents involving members of staff at recycling centres in Somerset and Worcestershire during the past few weeks.

West Mercia police are appealing for witnesses after a worker at the Malvern Recycling Centre was involved in a collision with a Peugeot 3008 on 16 July.

And, Avon Fire & Rescue was called out to a recycling centre in Backwell, Somerset, on 1 August after a Biffa staff member became trapped in a large residual waste bin.

Malvern

A member of staff was hit by a car while directing traffic at the Malvern Recycling Centre, which is managed by Worcestershire county council.

West Mercia Police have appealed for witnesses

The recycling centre was said to have been busy at the time.

West Mercia Police say the driver of the Peugeot appears to have ignored the road markings and queuing traffic before colliding with the member of staff, who was dressed in a high visibility uniform.

On 31 July West Mercia Police appealed for witnesses to the incident, saying: “We are appealing for witnesses after an incident at Malvern Recycling Centre on Thursday 16 July. Between 1pm and 1.30pm a member of the recycling centre staff was in collision with a Peugeot 3008.”

Backwell

Meanwhile, the Biffa staff member who became trapped in the skip in Backwell was said to be unharmed but was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Avon Fire & Rescue said it was mobilised to reports of a trapped male on Church Town in Backwell

The recycling centre, which is run in partnership by North Somerset council and waste management company Biffa, was closed throughout early Saturday afternoon as the fire service sought to retrieve him from the bin. It reopened at 3.15pm.

A spokesperson for North Somerset council said: “They weren’t lodged but it was considered safer to get them out safely so the fire brigade were called.

“They were taken to hospital as a precaution and returned to work the next day.”

North Somerset council says the incident is now being investigated. Biffa was contacted for comment.

It is thought the man had been trying to flatten down rubbish in the skip when he lost his footing and slipped.

A spokesperson for Avon Fire & Rescue said: “Crews from Nailsea and Weston fire stations were mobilised to reports of a trapped male on Church Town in Backwell.

“On arrival, crews found one male trapped in a rubbish skip. Firefighters rescued the man using safe working at height. The casualty was handed to ambulance crews at the scene.”

HSE

Referencing the wider waste sector as a whole, on 7 July the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) urged waste management companies not to forget to control other risks while taking measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (see letsrecycle.com story). The government agency said there had been an increase in ‘near misses’ with a high potential for a serious accident.

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