- The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has announced a series of free safety training classes to promote "Hazard Recognition in Recycling," according to an ISRI press statement.
- The course, designed for all recyclers, covers how to do a PPE (personal protective equipment) hazard assessment, how to recognize hazards, hazard communication in the workplace, the importance of proper PPE and various other housekeeping practices and tactics.
- The course is funded by a grant from the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In October 2016, OSHA released its preliminary list of the 10 most commonly cited workplace violations, with hazard communication landing in the second spot. At the time, it was reported that 4,500 workers are killed and three million are injured on the job every year in the U.S., and workers in the recycling industry are no strangers to that reality. From dangerous equipment with compaction features to household materials that can injure workers, recycling employees must consistently be alert of their surroundings.
ISRI specifically lists the recognition of fire hazards as an element of the course, which is crucial for the safety — and economic prosperity — of recyclers nationwide. In May, Ryan Fogelman of Fire Rover estimated that there had been at least 267 reported industry fires within the relative 12-month period, and 90% of those fires were caused by smoldering material and seemingly preventable. If recyclers are trained on how to stop these fires before they ever begin, it could save equipment, money and even lives from being lost.
Training opportunities are plentiful across the industry, with associations like NWRA offering Safety Stand Down sessions and SWANA offering landfill safety classes. As safety continues to climb the priority ladder for workers across all industry occupations, participation in these training courses will become increasingly crucial.