- From May 16-20, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) hosted its second Safety Stand Down of the year. This weeklong training and awareness initiative focused on keeping employees safe in the heat with water, rest, and shade.
- The Stand Down received 65% participation from the industry (138 participants from 87 companies). This is an increase from NWRA's first Stand Down of 2016 on truck backing, which received 60% participation.
- NWRA anticipates it will launch a third Stand Down during the back to school season with a focus on road and pedestrian safety.
NWRA noted that in 2014, there were 1,160 injury and illness cases that involved exposure to environmental heat in services providing industries. Therefore this Stand Down was crucial to ensure that waste industry employees are safe as the approaching summer months hit sweltering temperatures nationwide.
The Stand Down received praise from many industry leaders, including a solid waste equipment operator in Phoenix who stated: "The stand down made me feel safe in the work place. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is important to stay cool while working in my daily routine. I understand how serious heat stress is and my number one priority is to stay hydrated."
NWRA also reported that some participants of the Stand Down held hydration events at their local facilities to ensure workers "practiced healthy habits" to stay cool and safe.
Overall, the association hopes that the Safety Stand Down series can assist in reducing the amount of work-related injuries and fatalities, which is currently one of the biggest problems the industry is facing.