Letter: Bin lids menace and dustmen

Overflowing bins pose a health and safety issue to dustbin men.
Overflowing bins pose a health and safety issue to dustbin men.

In the recent Free Press, there was an article on health and safety inspections at several restaurants and food outlets.

I note that one business had a Biffa bin overflowing with its lid unable to close.

I believe it is highly likely that the person who inspected these bins will have seen many ordinary household wheely bins with lids unable to close because the bin is overflowing during their trips around the area.

I am an ex-employee of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and throughout most of that time I was a shop steward and health and safety rep.

I brought the serious health and safety issues regarding lids being open and unable to close to the attention of the council and to this day this council does not fully enforce that rule that all bin lids must be closed.

The reason for this is simple in my belief.

If this council enforced edict that the lids must be closed and refused to empty over filled bins that would bring about lots of complaints.

Complaints are not in the interests of the council when it comes to winning awards.

Ignoring such health safety issues such as this is endangering the council’s staff who handle the bins.

Let me point out the health and safety issues to everyone who reads this and state that these are the same issues I brought to this council’s attention many years ago.

Firstly if you move a bin with the lid partly open on a windy day, the wind can get under the lid and blow it into the bin collectors’ face causing injury.

If the bin is unable to close because of bags on top, those bags can fall into the automatic grab bar as the bin tilts when rising.

The bin will not be attached correctly and can be thrown back onto the loader, causing injury.

Dust from bins is, in my opinion, is the biggest concern.

They used to call bin men (dustmen). This to me implies that it is all right to be covered in dust.

What about asbestos dust? Is that OK?

I can guarantee that there is asbestos dust in several bins every day.

Everyday workmen work in ordinary households and when their work is completed, either the worker or the owner of the property will sweep up and put the sweepings up into the wheelie bins.

If the wheelie bin lid is left open then it is not hard to believe that some of the dust can escape and be inhaled by the collector.

So I say to all inspectors, you are failing if you do not report all bins with lids open to help keep everyone safe, including the collectors/loaders.

Report them to the council and see what response you get. I am guessing that it will not be a welcome response.

Neil Tate

Burstall Hill, Bridlington