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Safe practices in collecting e-waste

Posted by | January 28, 2019 | Unplugged | No Comments

ANZRP is committed to working with its partners in the maintenance and improvement of safe work practices that are compliant to current Australian health and safety standards.

We owe it to one another, employees, volunteers and customers to provide an environment facilitating the safe handling of e-waste materials. It’s nothing new, but occasionally we are served a reminder of the crucial importance of following prescribed work practices when the media spotlight is shone on an organisation’s misfortune that has lead to tragic consequences. Every day incidents occur that we never hear about, permanently injuring people, and costing Australian businesses millions each year – according to WorkCover Queensland, a moderate soft tissue spinal injury claim is worth between $7250 and $16,050 [1]. In 2014/15, 43,555 serious claims were lodged for body stressing in Australia [2].

As facilitators of the collection and recycling of e-waste around the country, we recognise that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep safe work practices at the forefront of people’s minds. In this edition we want to begin with one of the most simple yet most forgotten practices associated with e-waste collection, safe manual handling.

E-waste handling activities and requirements will vary between collection sites depending on the volume and size of e-waste collected, as well as the type of collection unit at your site (stillage, skip, container etc.). A few things to remember:

  • Confirm weight before lifting e-waste
  • Use dual person lift technique when e-waste is heavy, an odd shape or bulky and during wet conditions
  • Use hand trolleys or forklifts to move heavy or bulky e-waste
  • Ensure workers are trained in correct lifting practices and manual handling
  • Avoid throwing e-waste
  • Use side cutters to cut cords of e-waste prior to lifting e-waste from vehicles (if this is not possible, wrap cord securely around e-waste item prior to lifting/handling)
  • E-waste in skips/shipping containers should be stacked below shoulder height
  • Move the adjustable side panel on stillage to the down position to place items inside to prevent bending over

For further details, click on the link below respective to your state for your government authority’s guide on safe manual handling:

Of course if there are any issues at your site that you believe are related to TechCollect, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (03) 9020 2222 to discuss.

Carla Vasconi, Sustainability Programs Manager


[1] WorkCover Queensland 2019, https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/forms-and-resources/statistics/data-hub/injury-statistics/dominant-injury-item-number-to-general-damages-table

[2] Safe Work Australia 2018, https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/manual-handling#overview

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TechCollect is the official recycling program of ANZRP under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme