The identification of the domestic waste collection system associated with the least operative musculoskeletal disorders using human resource absence data

Article


Thomas, D., Mulville, M. and Hare, B. 2019. The identification of the domestic waste collection system associated with the least operative musculoskeletal disorders using human resource absence data. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 150, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104424
TypeArticle
TitleThe identification of the domestic waste collection system associated with the least operative musculoskeletal disorders using human resource absence data
AuthorsThomas, D., Mulville, M. and Hare, B.
Abstract

With increasing pressures around public sector costs, UK Local Authorities (LAs) and waste collection companies, are under pressure to reduce absence rates due to ill health. The identification of the ‘safest’ method of waste collection in the UK has been largely unresolved with many different types of waste and recycling receptacles used and deemed acceptable. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationships between domestic waste collection methods and absence due to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) through the comparison of absence rates for different activity. Studies based upon ergonomic theory had suggested the use of wheeled bins is better than the use of boxes, but this has not been tested empirically. Absence data was obtained from 15 LAs who allocated a more detailed activity role to their records, allowing for activity absence rates to be calculated. The outputs were collated and analysed using SPSS to identify statistically significant relationships between types of waste collection services. The results confirm that wheeled bins are associated with less proxy measures of MSD than boxes, baskets and sacks with even lower absence rates associated with 1100 litre capacity bins, when handled by two workers. Findings also indicates that there is a level where MSD absence interventions are unlikely to be sustainable.
In conclusion these findings should help LAs better understand some critical factors regarding waste collection strategies and MSD absence and inform HSE enforcement strategies. Employers should interrogate their own ill health data and seek to move to systems that create less MSDs.

KeywordsEpidemiology; Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD); Recycling and waste collection; Ill health; Absence
LanguageEnglish
PublisherElsevier
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
ISSN0921-3449
Publication dates
Online29 Jul 2019
Print30 Nov 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Oct 2019
Accepted22 Jul 2019
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
License
Copyright Statement

© 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104424
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