- From May 16 to May 20, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) will host a Safety Stand Down on Water, Rest, and Shade to emphasize the importance of staying hydrated and cool during hot weather. NWRA notes that in 2014, there were 1,160 injury and illness cases that involved exposure to environmental heat in services providing industries.
- The Stand Down will provide participants with tools and guidance needed for heat safety. Participants will be asked to conduct a risk assessment and review of heat-related policies and procedures, as well as post relevant information at facilities and on social media to bring awareness to employees.
- NWRA will conduct the stand down with support from California Refuse and Recycling Council, the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association, the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association, the International Scrap Recycling Institute (ISRI), and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Nearly 60 companies have also committed to participated in the initiative.
This is the second Safety Stand Down that NWRA will be conducting this year, following a January Stand Down that focused on reducing accidents and fatalities related to truck backing. NWRA reported that the first initiative received engagement from 60% of the industry, and as the Stand Downs continue, NWRA hopes to continue to raise that participation number.
"NWRA, its members and partners in this Stand Down, are committed to safety. This is one of multiple efforts NWRA is leading to move the needle on safety in our industry for our workers and the communities we serve," said NWRA President and CEO Sharon Kneiss in a statement.
Conducting a new three-year strategic plan, supporting Slow Down to Get Around initiatives, and hosting events such as the upcoming NYC Safety Symposium are all other ways that NWRA is working to boost safety and decrease the amount of fatalities that the industry faces annually.
Additionally, NWRA has worked to distribute general safety information whenever it is needed, despite if there is an event happening or not. "The thing that we do is, whenever members reach out to us needing specific information that'll help them build out a better, more robust safety program, we have the materials to enable them and we can partner with them," Tony Hargis, NWRA's national safety director, told Waste Dive in a recent interview.
Registration for the Stand Down is free, and those who are interested have been directed to register online.