A 10 year old boy was trapped in waste container in Erfurt and died of his injuries after being in a coma for nine days. The boy was throwing plastic waste into a yellow wheeled container (1100 liters - sliding domed lid) and was caught in the lid according to the District Attorneys Office in Erfurt on Friday. The exact circumstances of the accident are still unclear.
Since the beginning of 2009 the GGAWB (RAL- Gütegemeinschaft Abfall- und Wertstoffbehälter e.V. - The Quality Control Association of Waste and Recycling Containers) has had the following posted on their website:
Child proof waste containers
Child proof waste containers that have a sliding domed lid shall also be subject to quality checks. The introduction of these quality checks are a result of fatal accidents that occurred in France in the mid 1990s. Two children were trapped by a container lid as they were standing on an object and trying to reach into the container. As the children were trying to free themselves, the object they were standing on slipped away and the children suffocated due to them being trapped between the lid and the lid-rest edge of the container. In reaction to this initial incident, the French authorities firstly demanded that containers with a sliding domed lid should be marked with a warning label. However, when another accident occurred, the government demanded that the industry find technical solutions for this problem immediately. At the request of French interest groups, the French standardization committee, AFNOR, initiated a proposal stating that these safety requirements for containers with sliding domed lids be incorporated into the European standards regulations. In accelerated proceedings, the European Technical Standard Committee, TC183/WG1, devised and adopted the necessary testing requirements in order to include these in the container standard requirements EN 840 for wheeled waste and recycling containers.
The German DIN-standard implemented the European safety regulations in the DIN EN 840-6/A1 in September 2000.
The GGAWB has been reviewing their RAL-Quality Mark according to the new safety requirements for sliding domed lids since this time and has also adopted these requirements in the RAL-GZ 951/1. As a result of the tragic accident in Thuringia the GGAWB has clearly pointed out that especially the waste and recycling container 1100 that has a lid in the lid completely bars the potential danger of older non-child proof waste and recycling containers 1100. However, lids with stopping / locking mechanisms that can only be deactivated for closing using two hands could surely prevent - when regular functionality checks are carried out - the dangerous situations described.