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BUSINESS CLINIC


Wales NRW will not regard the failure to complete a continuing competence assessment that became due after 16 March 2020 as being a failure to comply with the CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence scheme. There will be a requirement to demonstrate you have registered with WAMITAB to undertake this test.


If this applies to you or your TCM, please contact both NRW and WAMITAB; WAMITAB are keeping a log of those who have contacted them and NRW will be checking this list.


This Regulatory Decision will be reviewed by 1 September 2020.


WISH INFO 13 COVID-19 and waste management activities


The Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) guidance document has been updated again; version 6 was published on 4 June 2020. The document: “WISH INFO 13 COVID-19 and waste management activities” is available from the WISH website HERE.


The new guide clearly shows the additions since the last version; including information about the NHS track-and-trace system, an expanded section on fly-tipping, which has become increasingly prevalent during lockdown, as well as some more detailed guidance on risk assessment.


It is important to remember that the document is based on HM Government guidance but that this should be considered alongside local public health and similar requirements and legislation in Scotland and Wales as that may differ.


COVID-19 risk assessment To help decide which actions to take, businesses need to carry out an


appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, at a business and site level, just as they would for other health and safety related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with workers and unions.


There is guidance on the HSE website on undertaking a risk assessment, and WISH has also produced a checklist document (WISH REF 07, Example COVID-19 Checklists, which can be found HERE), which includes further support and some template-style examples to act as a starting-point.


Obviously, these will need to be customised and further detail added to take account of an employer’s specific circumstances, but the guidance will help to make sure that the risk assessment covers the general areas that are essential.


RIDDOR reporting of coronavirus The Health and Safety Executive has updated its guidance on RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19. The reporting requirements relate to cases of, or death from, COVID-19 under RIDDOR and only apply to occupational exposure.


Employers should make a report under RIDDOR when:


• •


an accident or incident at work has, or could have, led to the release or escape of coronavirus;


a person at work has been diagnosed with COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a case of disease; or


• a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a work- related death due to exposure to a biological agent.


Remember,


safety doesn’t happen by accident!"


When deciding if a report is required, the responsible person (usually the employer) must make a judgement, based on the information available, as to whether or not a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is likely to have been caused by an occupational exposure, that is, whether or not there is reasonable evidence that a work-related exposure is the likely cause of the disease.


The WISH document states: “Just because a waste operative may potentially have contracted COVID-19 from a workmate, such as if they shared a vehicle cab during their work, would not on its own make this reportable as an exposure to a biological agent at work without further evidence of direct causation. Reporting would likely only be applicable if a worker is knowingly dealing with those with COVID-19 or symptomatic persons as part of their job, such as those working in the healthcare sector.”


More information on the HSE website HERE.


Keep safe During this challenging time, it is important that we all remain aware of and comply with the latest guidance, especially as lockdown restrictions could vary at regional level due local differences in the levels of infection. Remember, safety doesn’t happen by accident! Safety starts with an S and finishes with a You!


Keep alert and stay safe!


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