UK-based plastics recycling specialist Axion Recycling Ltd is among the first companies to sign up to a new industry-led initiative - SIMPL (Safety in Manufacturing Plastics) - formed to improve health and safety in the sector.
Supported by the Health and Safety Executive, the SIMPL initiative joins all parts of the industry, from polymer producers to trade organisations and unions, in an effort to boost progress on reducing accidents and ill-health within plastics-related businesses. It runs for three years from 2011 to 2014.
Keith Freegard, Director of the Manchester-based group, which includes polymer processor Axion Polymers, comments: “In health and safety terms, the plastics industry – and recycling in particular- has been identified as a ‘hotspot’ that needs some attention.
“From Axion’s viewpoint, we’ve always been quite proud of our professional approach to managing health and safety. But like everything else we do, if we can find ways to improve it or polish up any areas where we could do better, then we will. We think the whole ethos and concept of this SIMPL project is exactly what the industry needs.”
By signing up to the SIMPL pledge, firms demonstrate their commitment to improving the health and safety record of the industry as a whole. In return, employers can get help with achieving this within their own businesses.
Keith, who is also a representative of the British Plastics Federation’s Plastics Recycling Council, explains that the strategy includes sharing best practice with cross-fertilisation of ideas between different groups and making sure basic minimum standards are being adhered to.
He adds: “By pulling together, it is hoped the industry will begin to see real improvements that will contribute to a safer working environment for all.”
UK-based Axion Group develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients, from Government agencies and local authorities to companies in diverse commercial sectors, on the practical development of new processing and collection methods to recover value from waste resources.