The new waste and recycling system in the Vale is expected to help reduce the number of injuries sustained by binmen.
According to the Aylesbury Vale District Council sickness absence report, the waste and recycling department made up 42% of the overall sum of days taken due to illness.
More than half of absences (54.7%) were as a result of muscular or skeletal damage, back problems and injury.
But bosses believes that the new collection regime, which has ended extra binbag waste and kerb-side sorting, should drive down injuries.
Employees across all council department took an average of 8.37 days off due to sickness during 2011/12. It says it does not have an ‘endemic sickness absence problem’, as two thirds of all sick days were taken by just 66 people, and 10 people were responsible for more than a quarter.
‘Targeted action has and is being directed in relevant individual cases’, adds the report.
In addition, 20% of all sickness rates at the council was as a result of stress. This is has worsened over the past two years.
The report states that the increase has been ‘recognised’ and new policies introduced.