Working with compactors and cardboard balers can present a significant risk of harm if not managed effectively and used appropriately. Given that the purpose of such equipment is to compress waste, one of the primary concerns is that operators and unauthorised users may well enter such machinery and be crushed as a result of people falling and climbing into the compactor chamber whilst reaching in to retrieve items or clear obstructions. Other associated hazards are; electricity, ejection of materials & machine parts, work at height and musculoskeletal injury arising from incorrect handling procedures when decanting refuse.
The University has a number of compactors and balers located around the campus which are managed by the Waste & Recycling Manager (Estates Department), with day-to-day use being managed by 'nominated' managers (local departments) who must ensure that operators of such equipment have been trained and instructed appropriately. Such equipment must have restricted access to unauthorised persons, this includes; non-essential employees, students, contractors, visitors, general public etc.
Guidance has been produced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in conjunction with the Waste Industry Safety & Health Forum which offers advice on the main safety concerns and how associated risk can be controlled. The guidance is aimed at employers, managers and supervisors at premises where comapctors are used and focusses on the risks presented to both operators and members of the public.