Safety at waste depot a ‘significant issue’

Roger Gambba-Jones
Roger Gambba-Jones
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Plans for improvement work costing almost £31,000 at council waste depots in Spalding and Holbeach have been unveiled after safety concerns from Government health inspectors.

South Holland District Council is to decide on Wednesday whether improvements should be made to its waste depot in West Marsh Road, Spalding, after Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors said it posed an “unacceptable risk” to staff and the public.

An automatic barrier entry gate, pedestrian barriers and new signage will be introduced as soon as possible at the site following the HSE inspection last November.

Improvements could also be made to the waste depot in Fleet Street, Holbeach, ahead of possibly transferring some dustcarts and workers there from Spalding to ease the cramped conditions at the West Marsh Road site.

The plans were discussed by cabinet members on Tuesday when a report detailing the proposed work was presented by Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for waste management.

An extract from the report said: “The waste industry has a comparatively poor health and safety injury and fatality rate and, as such, is regarded by the HSE as a priority industry sector.

“As a result, refuse and recycling services provided by councils including South Holland are currently under close scrutiny by the HSE.

“Over the years, the West Marsh Road depot has had to accommodate the growth of the refuse and recycling fleet with approximately 75 members of staff and 77 vehicles using the depot at any one time.

“As a consequence, the number of vehicle movements has substantially increased in an already cramped depot and the HSE considers that it currently provides an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of pedestrians using it.”