Coronavirus (COVID-19) – WISHNI advice
WISHNI have produced advisory documents to assist employers. It details appropriate measures that should be taken during the current COVID-19 Pandemic. Click on the links below to view:
- WISHNI COVID-19 Advice
- Advice on what to do if an employee is showing symptoms of COVID-19
- COVID-19 and Waste Management Activities - examples of good practice
Please use this information in conjunction to advice outlined from the below recognised government sources:
Follow WISHNI on LinkedIn to keep up to date with any advice from WISHNI in regards to Covid-19 and get involved in the conversation: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wishni/
WISHNI members include representatives from professional associations, recycling organisations, and national and local government bodies involved in waste management and recycling.
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is also a member, adopting an advisory role to help improve health and safety practices throughout the industry.
The aim of WISHNI is to identify, devise and promote activities to improve industry health and safety standards.
2020 WISHNI Ambassador Awards
Mr. Jim King, Chair of WISHNI opened proceedings at the seventh annual presentation of the Ambassador Awards which was held at Malone House, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast.
Mr. King, commenting on the Ambassador Programme said;
“WISHNI has continued to provide support to the waste and recycling sectors by developing and sharing best practice across the industry. This event has been a valuable contribution in achieving this aim. I look forward to seeing our new Ambassadors effect further positive change within the industry and I would support them in their efforts.”
The Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland, Mr. Robert Kidd praised the ongoing efforts to improve safety across the sector. He said;
“I congratulate this year’s WISHNI Ambassadors for their important contributions in helping to improve safety standards across the industry. It is encouraging to note the support offered by a range of organisations, all with the primary aim of promoting health and safety best practice across the waste and recycling industry. By working together and developing partnerships between government, industry and other stakeholders we can better manage and reduce the risks to Northern Ireland’s workers.”
Successful applicants were able to provide evidence of active participation within the wider industry on matters relating to health and safety.
Winners of the 2020 WISHNI Ambassadors Awards Programme were:
McKinstry Skip Hire Limited
Not only have they provided clear evidence of reducing the amount of dust generated from their process but have also shown a significant decrease in the amount of time required for housekeeping and a significant reduction in fire risk. Staff have reported better working conditions. Therefore, not only has health been improved but staff morale has also improved.
McQuillan Environmental Limited
By teaching employees how to recognise the symptoms of poor mental health and how to develop skills, techniques and tools to look after their own mental health they have reduced the stigma surrounding this difficult topic and have encouraged a culture of understanding within the workplace. The company has also invested in mental health first aid training. The intention behind these commitments is to detect, prevent and provide early intervention to safeguard their workforce.
ReCon Waste Management Ltd
Re-Gen Waste Limited
Miss Maria Gribben, a 2nd year Environmental Health Student at Ulster University, Jordanstown received the award in recognition of a piece of coursework highlighting the causes, effects and impacts of noise on employee’s health within the waste and recycling sector.
With several thousand cases of industrial deafness still occurring in industry across the UK every year this is a highly pertinent topic.
Following the awards ceremony, a health and safety seminar took place with presentations from local industry and regulators.
Ambassador supports key messages to industry
Workplace transport-related incidents continue to account for serious injuries and fatalities amongst many industries including waste and recycling.
WISHNI Ambassador Belfast City Council has supported the development of key messages to employers and employees engaged in waste and recycling collection services.
Good vehicle maintenance, safe access to and from vehicle cabs and the avoidance of unnecessary reversing practices are some of the key messages WISHNI are hoping to highlight.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness WISHNI has made available the following material for employers to use within their workplace. The downloadable material is previewed in the table below and you can click on the links to download a printable pdf version of the picture:
WISHNI campaign material
WISHNI is committed to ensuring organisations provide and maintain a safe, accident free and healthy work environment. To do this WISHNI continues to focus its attention on the following key priorities within the waste and recycling industry:
WISHNI has produced a series of health and safety ‘toolbox talks’ and guidance sheets for use within the waste industry:
- WISHNI toolbox talks - an introduction for employers
- WISHNI toolbox talk 1 - noise in material recovery facilities (MRFs)
- WISHNI toolbox talk 2 - housekeeping
- WISHNI toolbox talk 3 - safe workplace transport
- WISHNI toolbox talk training record
The following safety alerts have been listed to highlight previously known hazards but which remain areas of concern within the waste industry:
- Hook-loaders and skips, load security when raising and lowering - issued 17 July 2008 - HSE (GB) website
Process-related fire safety risks remain an ongoing concern for many employers within the waste and recycling industry.
Recent guidance issued by WISH(GB) including 'Waste 28 - reducing fire risk at waste management sites' provides a comprehensive guide to managing fire safety risks:
WISHNI guidance (HSE/WISH documents)
- Waste 03 - orphaned compressed gas cylinders in the 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 and recycling industry
- Waste 10 - petrol recovery from end-of-life vehicles
- Waste 11 - safety at ‘bring sites' in the waste management and recycling industries
- 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
- Waste 23 - safe waste and recycling collection services
- Waste 26 – managing health and safety in civic amenity sites
- Waste 27 – health and hazardous substances in waste and recycling
- INDG415 - stay clean - stay healthy: looking after your health in the waste/recycling industry
- Landfill fires - controlling the risk
- Safe use of skip loaders: advice for workers - HSE (GB) website
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has developed a programme of work which aims to:
- reduce the RIDDOR accident rate by five per cent each year
- understand and identify measures to reduce occupational ill health
- ensure occupational health and safety is an integral part of the specification, procurement and management of municipal waste/recycling contracts
To help improve health and safety standards within the waste industry and in support of the above targets, WISHNI have defined the following strategy.
WISHNI will act as a steering group which will oversee working groups tasked with specific initiatives designed to improve health and safety performance within the waste industry.
WISHNI will harness the collective knowledge of its membership to help individuals; representative bodies; employers and other organisations secure a safe and healthy workplace.
WISHNI will provide information, guidance and assistance to the industry where possible in efforts to improve health and safety standards.
WISHNI will target organisations and encourage them to take part in planned initiatives or undertake other such actions so as to improve health and safety standards.
Using the WISHNI logos
The WISHNI Ambassadors Logo and Supporter’s Logo are available for external organisations to use, subject to written approval from the Chair of WISHNI. Each use of the logo must, however, be in accordance with the 'WISHNI Logo Use – Terms and Conditions'. This is essential in order to maintain consistency and ensure that it is used correctly.
For more information on the use of WISHNI logos download the Terms and Conditions below. To apply to use the WISHNI logos please download and complete the following application form:
Further information can be obtained by contacting Ali Laverty (WISHNI Secretary) at the following e-mail address:
WISHNI meeting minutes
The WISHNI steering group minutes from all meetings which have taken place over 2017, 2016 and 2015 are available to view from the following links:
- WISHNI steering group meetings - 2017
- WISHNI steering group meetings - 2016
- WISHNI steering group meetings - 2015
How can I get involved?
If you would like to attend a WISHNI meeting as an observer, or if you would like to be involved in any of the working groups or have any other comments to make about the work of WISHNI, please contact Ali Laverty (Secretary) at the following email address: