- The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has announced a new safety campaign, "Five Tips to Stay Alive," which provides waste collection employees guidelines to stay safe while on the job.
- The five tips are: always wear personal protective equipment (PPE), especially high visibility vests and/or outerwear; never use your cell phone while driving the truck or at a disposal facility; don’t ride on the step if the truck is backing or traveling more than 10 mph or 1/5-mile; always comply with safety belt rules; and don’t exceed the speed limit and don’t rush.
- SWANA anticipates that members will use this tool to potentially reduce accidents and make refuse collection — which is currently the fifth most dangerous occupation — a safer job for all.
Associations like SWANA and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) have put incredible efforts toward increasing safety across the industry. From the Slow Down to Get Around initiative, to tools like SWANA's "Safety Matters" webpage or NWRA's "best practices" for operators of MRFs, landfills, and transfer stations, industry leaders are doing everything they can to prevent accidents.
Other stakeholders are also trying to implement safety in the best way they can. Companies like Waste Pro have decided to install high-tech camera systems in their trucks to address safe driving among employees. Even the government has announced a federal proposal to test truckers and other vehicle operators for sleep apnea, which causes drivers to doze off the road.
"Waste Connections fully supports SWANA’s efforts to improve the industry’s safety performance, and we hope other companies and local governments will use this new resource to help reduce accidents and injuries," said Waste Connections Director of Safety Shawn Mandel in a press release.
SWANA CEO David Biderman echoed the importance of the campaign. "SWANA will continue to develop new tools for supervisors and front line employees to help reduce accidents and injuries in both the public and private sectors," he said in a press release.