ESA H&S Guidance

ESA and its Members have produced a number of guidance documents for its members, and the wider sector.  These guidance documents can  also be found on the Guidance page of the website.

ESA is also working with WISH (Waste Industry Safety and Health) and SWITCH (Scottish Waste Industry Training, Competency, Health & Safety) on helping to improve health and safety performance right across the sector. 

Our H&S Working Groups work closely with WISH. SWITCH and HSE to ensure that the sector is constantly at the forefront of protecting their employees.


  • Induction Guidance - This guide provides a structure for devising an induction programme which has all the necessary components to ensure an effective and safe induction to your organisation.
  • Embedding a Competency System Guidance - This guidance represents a sensible, reasonable and proportionate approach for embedding a competency system, to ensure your system has a logical flow, and presents a package of process and tools, based upon implementation best practices.
  • Approach to Risk Assesment brochureThis guidance aims to offer a simple and effective approach to identifying risk, determining appropriate controls and communicating these to the people doing the job.

The guidance aligns a risk assessment approach to a site or activity (ie rather than being topic specific, such as manual handling or working at height) and includes example of such assessments which companies can use or adapt for their own purposes. Appendices to the brochure can be found below:

NEW Bonded Asbestos Guidance

Developed with ESA Member landfill operators this guidance adopts an “entire management chain” approach for the safe transport and disposal of bonded asbestos. The guidance: 
  • reinforces compliance with existing HSE guidance, EM9 
  • raises awareness of EM9 requirements, while offering a risk-based approach to transporting and unloading asbestos 
  • addresses a longstanding disconnect between HSE’s requirements (at site of asbestos waste production) and the Agency’s role in the transport of this material 
  • will support ESA Members to minimise asbestos exposure for people working at landfill sites and harm to the environment  

The guidance can be downloaded here: Guidance  on  the  management  of  bonded  asbestos  (cement)  disposal

Mental Health Guidance

ESA’s Mental Health Group plans to issue topic specific guidance on a regular basis, each covering a current, pressing matter. 

The first in this series of guidance aims to help manage mental health for those people returning to the workplace upon lifting of lockdown restrictions.  After a year working at home this transition could prove quite stressful for some. 

The guidance is purposely succinct and in bite-sized format covering generic, high level points to consider, and also offers some follow up reading. 


Supporting good mental health in the waste management industry

June 2022













This ESA mental health guidance is primarily aimed at managers, highlighting their role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their people and providing them with advice and resources to help embed a positive mental health culture within their organisation.

While decisions on planning for and integrating mental health into the organisation might not be in a manager’s gift, this guidance aims to offer the tools and suggestions needed in starting a conversation with senior management in leveraging their support and buy-in. 

  • Good mental health in the return to the workplace - This  guidance note aims to offer managers and supervisors practical tips to help manage mental health concerns associated with returning to the workplace upon lifting of lockdown restrictions.
  • COVID-19: Mental health support & information for the waste management sector - This guidance offers tips, suggestions and points to consider in helping manage employees’ mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to assist and support managers in opening up a conversation on mental health, and to ensure that wellbeing is integrated into day to day business decisions, rather than perceived negatively as some

Vehicle and Pedestrian Interface Guidance

Good Practice Guidance

Vehicle and pedestrian interaction on site is one of the waste and recycling industry’s significant risks in the workplace.

This ESA Good Practice Guidance document has been prepared to support the Waste & Recycling Sector in the on-site management of pedestrian and vehicle segregation.

ESA HS guidance vehicle_pedestrian safety-1.jpg

Vehicle and Pedestrian Interface - Good Practice Guidance

May 2023









Adopting a hierarchy of control approach, this guidance offers advice on what to consider in site design where vehicles and pedestrians interact, along with suggested control measures to adopt.