The waste and recycling industry is littered with hazards. From constant workplace transport to hazardous materials and manual handling, the waste and recycling industry is dangerous for the uninitiated.

That is why, as the owner or operator of a waste and recycling facility, you must ensure your employees possess the proper training to keep them safe while tackling industry hazards. Neglecting to do so endangers the health and safety of your employees—and the future of your business.

Legal Requirements

In Great Britain, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires employers to provide whatever training is necessary to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees at the workplace. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 expand responsibilities, specifying that employers must identify the situations where health and safety training is particularly important.

The corresponding legislation in Northern Ireland is the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.

To comply with the legislation, employers must provide training for all employees on the following three topics:

  1. The risks they may face
  2. Measures in place to control the risks
  3. How to get first aid and follow any emergency procedures

Pay special attention to the training needs of new recruits, young people and workers taking on new responsibilities—they may be especially vulnerable to accidents due to ignorance.

General Training Requirements

To maximise your training programme, secure commitment and support from your management team—the standards espoused in training should be adopted company-wide. Your management team and competent trainers must allocate sufficient time to review the programme at every step to ensure it is effective. You should always be brainstorming new ways to enhance your business’ training.

The average training regime will usually contain the following components:

  • Induction training
  • On-the-job training
  • Additional training when changing jobs
  • Refresher training
  • Assessment to verify workers’ competence
  • Periodic review of training needs

Remember to design a training regime that suits your business’ specific needs. The general requirements for training programmes fall into these six categories:

  1. Planning training – When planning your training programme, be sure to satisfy all legal requirements and take advantage of relevant guidance from the Health and Safety Executive ( Designate enough time for training. Demonstrations alone will not suffice—employees will need time to practise and develop skills under adequate supervision.
  2. Delivering training – When delivering your training programme, make sure staff at all levels receive the appropriate training. Account for employees’ literacy, understanding and language barriers. Make sure it is accessible to everyone. Accessibility extends to the physical location—your programme should be conducted safely in a suitably equipped venue. To boost your training’s efficacy, plan for classroom training or demonstrations that merge into on-the-job training. Always include a risk identification section in your training programme that teaches employees how to recognise and report hazardous situations.
  3. Standard elements of training – Training programmes will vary from business to business, but most will include the following standard elements:
    • Guidance and codes of practice
    • Assessment of risks
    • The limits of individuals’ capability
    • Special circumstances that pop up at certain sites or certain times
    • The importance of ergonomic design
    • Dealing with unpredictable occurrences
    • Employees’ authority and ability to take remedial action and report incidents
    • Appropriate and safe use of equipment
    • Problem-solving
    • Staff welfare
  4. Training records – Keep records containing the following information to help manage and improve your training efforts:
    • Names and signatures of trainers and trainees
    • Date and place of training
    • Duration of training
    • Content covered, including handouts
    • Equipment/aides used
    • Quizzes to show clear proof of understanding
    • Confirmation of training, such as certificates
  5. Training review – Your business should evaluate its training programme before, during and after training to ensure the programme is still appropriate and effective. Provide feedback to management on the programme’s efficacy to ensure everyone is informed.
  6. Ensuring effective training – Training programmes should mould competent workers. Arrange for supervision, monitoring and periodic assessment of workers after training to gauge the programme’s ability to equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Training Is Indispensable

Do not skimp on a quality training programme. Especially in the hazardous waste and recycling industry, your employees need thorough training to ensure their safety and your business’ success. Count on the insurance professionals at RHA Insurance Services for a wealth of resources on successfully operating a waste and recycling business. Call us on 0203 960 2944 or email us at to start bolstering your business today. Alternatively, visit to learn more about our tailored insurance schemes.