Impact was called in to London’s largest undercover Material Recycling Facility (MRF) to improve the quality of the final product by removing the light fibre and debris from the material stream in order to boost its resale value. Although the majority of waste being handled was mixed papers, Impact also had to consider other waste such as dry foods, plastics and glass.
Dust control was a major issue that also needed to be addressed as the management were concerned about worker health and fire risk.
After a full site assessment, Impact designed and installed a centralised dust extraction at the 9.2 acre site which included hoods at conveyor discharge points where dust plumes were created by the waste stream. The MRF owners also requested that Impact modify and maintain their existing extraction equipment too, which Impact reviewed and offered suitable solutions to ensure operations were kept up and running with absolute minimal downtime while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the sorting process.
As dust was now being controlled, Impact recommended that COSHH Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Thorough Examination & Testing must be carried out as per statutory requirement COSHH regulation 9. Following a survey of the MRF, other areas were also identified where LEV systems were present and therefore addressed.
As part of the MRF’s pro-active approach to health and safety, Impact were asked to put forward further recommendations for the extraction systems and also the ventilation systems serving the sort cabins. This has resulted in a sensible yet stringent examination and testing programme being put in place. This includes gravimetric air quality testing, which ensures that the quality and cleanliness of air being breathed in by the employees is well below that laid out by the HSE in its publication EH40/2005 Workplace Exposure Limits.
The result is that the employees are happy working in comfortable and safe areas and the MRF is legally compliant, meeting it’s health and safety responsibilities and the demands of ISO14001 and HSG258.