The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that recycling boxes are unreasonably heavy and could injure anyone trying to lift them. In a new report, the HSE said that any such injuries could trigger potential lawsuits. The containers, which are used by countless households in the country, could become too heavy when filled with a mixture of glass and paper.
These boxes also exceed the recommended weight limit. The report, which was compiled after a three-month study said that councils could be sued by people asking them to move the boxes. "Local authorities are concerned. The HSE carries a lot of weight in courts and tribunals," said Lee Marshall, the chairman of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committees.
The Health and Safety Laboratory, which conducted the new study says that the boxes are at least 55 litre capacity models, which weigh more than 22 kg. They recommend that the size of the boxes be limited to 40-liter capacity.
The GMB union said that last year it had lodged 800 personal injury claims for back or upper limb injuries for 800 of its waste sector members. They received £17 million as compensation. "It's only a matter of time before a council taxpayer bring a claim against his local authority for back injuries incurred while putting their recycling out." GMB spokesman Justin Bowden said.
Jonathan Straight, chief executive of Straight plc, said that the report did not make sense. "I just cannot imagine why the HSE has looked into this rather than things that are actually dangerous," he said.