Scheme To Improve Safety Standards For Metals Recycling

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has launched a new safety scheme to improve standards in the metals recycling sector. Materials Recycling World (MRW) reports that the scheme is designed to create consistent standards of health and safety at recycling sites throughout the UK.

Titled the   Metal Recycling Contractor Competency Scheme (MRCCS) , the initiative was developed in collaboration with the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA). It will ask contractors to provide proof of recognised industry standards, and to verify their competence, skills, and qualifications.

The MRCCS will be available from 3 May 2022. There are currently two tests available: the Contractor Operative Test, and the Contractor Supervisory Test. Both tests feature multiple choice questions, which are designed to be completed in under an hour, and the candidate must achieve 85% or over to pass.

Contractors will then be required to refresh the qualification every three years. The syllabus can be accessed online, and a full e-learning course is in development. Those who successfully complete the tests will be issued with a digital accreditation card, which can be downloaded and used as proof of credentials.

The ultimate aim of the new scheme is to improve health and safety in the workplace, and reduce the risk of accidents and dangerous incidents. It is hoped that the scheme will be eventually rolled out across the wider waste management sector.

Katie Cockburn, CIWM professional services director, said: “The MRCCS will not only make it much simpler for organisations to complete vital reference checking, but also enable them to recruit and retain employees and make a tangible contribution towards improved health and safety across the sector.”

Antonia Grey, BMRA head of policy and public affairs, said: “Having a system in place that allows metals recycling companies to quickly ensure that contractors working on-site have the appropriate training and skills is going to be a great add-on to our existing health and safety toolkit.”

“This launch is the culmination of many months of hard work, and we are grateful to members who helped us write the syllabus and the question banks. We look forward to working with the team at CIWM to produce the next cards in our sector-specific competency card scheme – the metal recycling operative and the metal recycling manager.”

Meanwhile, Let’s Recycle reports that Fire Prevention Plans (FFP) have helped to avert more serious incidents developing at two sites in the North of England. On 22 April, ten fire engines and 50 firefighters tackled a blaze at a metal recycling centre in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

It is thought that the fire was started accidently, and no damage or injuries were caused. The FFP was followed, which involved a controlled burnout of the fire. The second incident was at a metal recycling site in Preston, Lancashire. Ten fire engines and 70 firefighters attended the blaze, which ignited in 200 tonnes of shredded metal.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said that the investigation into the incident is still ongoing.


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