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Refuse Worker Deaths Shoot Up

Monday, August 6, 2018

REFUSE WORKER DEATHS SHOOT UP 50% AS STAFF FACE 1,000 DANGEROUS DRIVING CASES EVERY DAY SAYS GMB

Despite their highly hazardous work, dedicated refuse workers have seen their pay plummet in real terms since 2011 says GMB Union

Deaths among refuse workers have shot up 50% according to the latest HSE figures – at the same time  staff face 1,000 instances of dangerous driving every single day, GMB union has revealed

At least 12 people died in the waste sector last year - up from 8 the year before. [1]

This does not include asbestos related illness, suicide, or people killed because of a workplace activity so the figure is likely to be much higher. 

Workers in the sector face many hazards but one of the most worrying is that a massive 360,000 incidents of dangerous or reckless driving that are reported by refuse workers every year. [2]

Meanwhile, workers report a massive 1,000 incidents of dangerous or reckless driving every day - a total of 360,000 every year. [2]

Video footage released by Biffa shows refuse workers diving for cover as reckless drivers mounts pavements, curbs and grass verges to get round bin lorries making rubbish collections. [3]

The average earnings of the UK’s refuse workers is just over £19,000 a year  - and has plummeted 7.4% in real terms since 2011. [4]

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

 “We all rely on refuse collections to keep our cities, towns and villages clean and safe.

“But refuse workers are literally risking their lives coming into work each day – it’s one of the most dangerous jobs you can do.

“In this sweltering heat, it doesn’t get any easier. It’s an incredibly tough job, but despite the graft they put in, refuse workers have seen their pay plummet in real terms since 2011.

“Our refuse workers desperately need a pay rise, but alongside that they need the police, courts and general public to treat them with the respect they deserve.

“The law of the land should come down hard on anyone putting our members’ lives at risk or threatening their safety.

“They’re just trying to do a job and look after the rest of us.”

ENDS

[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/Statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf

[2] https://www.biffa.co.uk/news/drops-driving-recklessly-pavements/

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=99&v=bQ4c4OqJj6c

[4]

Median (full-time) earnings in current prices

Converted into constant (2017) prices

2011

£19,129

£21,030

2017

£19,482

£19,482

Change (£)

£353

-£1,548

Change (%)

1.8%

-7.4%

Sources: ONS, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2017; HMT GDP deflator.

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