- The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is hosting its second annual Safety Stand Down on vehicle backing from Jan. 23-27.
- More than 100 companies and municipalities have signed up for the initiative. They will all help conduct training and raise awareness around avoiding potentially fatal vehicle-related injuries.
- Partner organizations include the California Refuse and Recycling Council, the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association, the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association, the International Scrap Recycling Institute and the Solid Waste Association of North America.
NWRA started its Safety Stand Down series last year and reported 60% industry engagement on the backing initiative. The other two topics in 2016 were heat-related safety and school safety, which NWRA said drew its largest participation rates yet.
This comes shortly after NWRA helped update ANSI standards for mobile equipment and continues to facilitate efforts for further standard updates in the year ahead. New standards on whether backing attendants should be required at landfills are among those under discussion and are particularly relevant to this week's current focus.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, vehicle-related incidents to make up a large portion of fatalities in the industry. Refuse and recyclable material collection remains the fifth most dangerous occupation in the country and 33 workers died on the job in 2015. While safety remains a top priority for companies and municipalities, the industry as a whole has yet to figure out how to make significant improvements to these grim figures.