The New Zealand solid waste and resources industry has recognised that a change in culture is required across the industry in order to improve the health and safety attitudes, behaviours and performance of those working in the industry. A working group was set up in April 2002 to address health and safety issues related to a number of significant events that had occurred in previous years and a generally low level of focus on health and safety throughout the industry. This initial group consisted of members of a selection of waste industry companies including Envirowaste Services Ltd, Waste Management NZ Ltd, Metropolitan Waste, Onyx Services Ltd and Streetsmart.

In 2004 the group was set up as a sector group within WasteMINZ to further the aims of this initial working group.

Purpose of this Document:

  1. In the first part of this document, a brief outline of the requirements of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is provided. The requirements are standard across all areas of employment. This section is there to ensure that all those in the solid waste and resources industry are clearly aware of these legislative requirements.
  2. The second part provides some guidance on how to manage health and safety in a workplace and the types of procedure that should be put in place by employers and adhered to by employees.
  3. The third part provides some detailed best practice health and safety guidance in areas of the solid waste and resources industry that have been identified as exposing industry workers to significant risks and hazards. With appropriate implementation, these guidance notes should significantly improve the health and safety culture and performance of the industry.

The document covers:

  • Operating waste and recoverable resources collection vehicles
  • Plant and fleet
  • Workplace hazards specific to the solid waste and resources industry
  • Specifications for waste collection vehicles
  • Personal protective clothing and equipment.

This document does not replace legislation or relevant New Zealand standards and is designed to complement these documents.