The Environment Agency has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the North East to carry out combined visits to check that waste sites are not flouting important legislation.
Operation Hercules, a joint initiative, focuses on facilities that recycle, process or store waste, from scrap vehicles to general household waste.
It aims to improve working practices on regulated sites.
Operators use a variety of processes and equipment to store, sort and process waste, which have the potential to create health and safety risks.
Carla Metcalf, waste specialist for the Environment Agency, said: “We manage our permitted sites every day to ensure they are operating within the law to protect the environment and minimise impact on local communities.
“These joint operations are a really good opportunity to share knowledge with other agencies and mean we look at sites from different perspectives, ensuring any issues impacting on the environment and community can be examined together with site safety.”
Those who inspect the sites will check that they are operating within the conditions of their Environmental Permit and all the required health and safety measures are in place.
Inspector Victoria Wise from the HSE said: “Joint operations such as this mean we can work alongside the Environment Agency to make sure those responsible for the sites are not exposing workers, members of the public and the environment to harm from their operations.”