Rubbish disposal, and more recently reclamation or recycling, is big business in the UK. According to latest figures from the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), in 2016 the UK generated 66.2 million tonnes of non-hazardous construction and demolition (C&D) waste, of which 60.2 million tonnes was recovered - a recovery rate of 91.0%.*
It might be a booming business sector, but it doesn’t come without its risks. According to the UK Health & Safety Executive “workplace transport accidents are one of the most common causes of serious accidents and fatalities in the waste management industry. Significant among them are accidents that relate to transport related lifting operations.” Specifically skips.
Skip Hire insurance policies are different for all companies but in essence for both the smaller and larger fleets, there is a requirement for a flexible policy placed by specialists to ensure you have the right cover in place.
You will have a variety of options for your commercial skip hire insurance policy; this includes both motor insurance on your lorries; but also Public and Employers Liability cover, as well as cover on any plant, machinery or offices you have back in your yard.
Don’t Skip UK Rules and Regulations
And you might want to spare a thought for hapless owner/operator Robert Walker of Bob’s Skips in Basildon, Essex, who failed to check the legitimacy of a driver who claimed to be working for a genuine haulage company. It turned out that the driver didn’t work for the company and was using fake waste transfer notices. The waste was later found fly-tipped at four different locations in Essex.
Walker apparently had no clue where the waste was being taken nor did he check that it had arrived at its destination - all of which should have been part of his duty of care. Due to the poor nature of the paperwork, it was not possible to trace the lorry nor the driver. By breaching his duty of care, he avoided the costs and taxes involved in sending waste to a permitted site.
Walker was fined £10,000, ordered to pay £8,300 towards the costs of the clean-up of the fly-tipped rubbish and £6,532 in costs.
Both the Health and Safety Executive and the Environmental Environmental Protection Act 1990 place stringent regulations on operating skips so it’s imperative that you’re covered for all eventualities.
Unfortunately skip hire insurance doesn’t come cheap. They are viewed as a high-risk category insurance but the good news is there are ways to bring down and manage the risk – especially through discounts for the fitting of cameras and other tools available to you as the business owner or fleet manager.
Remember, there are no national standards for the manufacture of skips and containers. However, a number of commonly used industry standards exist which are produced by and available from the Container Handling Equipment Manufacturers Association (CHEM).
Guidance on Skip and container safety in waste management and recycling has been produced in consultation with the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH).