- The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have partnered to promote health and safety to ISRI members through education and training.
- The goal of the partnership is to decrease the amount of hazardous workplace incidents that put scrap recycling industry workers at risk. These incidents include accidents with industrial machinery or trucks, insufficient hazard communication, and lead or chemical exposure.
- ISRA and OSHA intend to collaborate on events such as ISRI's annual convention, the ISRI Safety and Environmental Council meetings, and ISRI's Safety Stand-Down Day. In return, ISRI will promote OSHA initiatives, such as its Fall Prevention Stand-Down Day.
Various accidents and violations within the industry have proven that an occupation in waste or recycling can pose many health and safety risks if workers are not careful. In September, the Bureau of Labor statistics released the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, marking refuse and recycling collection as the occupation with the fifth highest fatality rate. The data showed that 27 workers were fatally injured on the job in 2014 — a number that is too high for any industry.
"These hazards can result in serious injuries and death for workers in the scrap recycling industry," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels in a press release. "We are pleased to partner with ISRI in developing effective tools to control or eliminate safety and health hazards in this industry."
Recycling alone is a dangerous industry due to the machinery that workers need to operate in various facilities. To prevent injuries, companies have designed equipment with the worker in mind. For example, Catawba Baler & Equipment has designed a "free jam two-ram" baler that can improve safety by reducing the amount of times that workers will need to spend clearing jams from the equipment.