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SWANA Recognizes Four Outstanding Safety Programs

June 30, 2023

4 Min Read

Silver Spring, MD – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is honored to recognize the recipients of the 2023 SWANA Safety Awards. This year’s winners are Anne Arundel County, MD, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Waste Management Services for Biggest Safety Improvement; City of Goodyear, AZ, Public Works Department for Workplace Wellness Program; City of Tacoma WA, Solid Waste Management for Best Safety Innovation; and Leck Waste Services for Best Safety Training Program.

This is the inaugural year for both the Workplace Wellness Program and Best Safety Training Program awards.

“During the pandemic, we looked at companies’ Covid responses and recognized those who addressed concerns for our essential workers and kept them healthy during a troubling time,” said Suzanne Sturgeon, SCS Engineers’ Safety Manager and SWANA National Safety Committee Chair. “It’s important now to look beyond that, and we made the decision to recognize how wellness programs contribute to health and safety of employees and how effective and multi-faceted safety training programs provide employees with various opportunities for learning and growth.”

SWANA would like to thank Fire Rover, Environmental Solutions Group (ESG), Safe Fleet, and SmarTruck HD for their support of this year’s Safety Awards program and for their ongoing commitment to improving industry safety.

Biggest Safety Improvement

Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works logo

The 2023 SWANA Safety Award for Biggest Safety Improvement goes to the Anne Arundel County, MD, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Waste Management Services. By harnessing the expertise of frontline employees through its Safety Leaders program, the Bureau of Waste Management Services fostered a truly collaborative approach where each level contributed from their unique vantage point to develop a comprehensive and effective safety program. The result was an unprecedented milestone for the bureau of eliminating any OSHA reportable injuries for 23 months.

Workplace Wellness Program

City of Goodyear logo

The 2023 SWANA Safety Award for Workplace Wellness goes to the City of Goodyear, AZ, Public Works Department. This is the first year that this award has been presented. The City of Goodyear subscribed to the Whole Employee philosophy, encompassing the spirit, heart, mind, and body with the goal of achieving ultimate satisfaction and maximum contribution. This led to greater worker engagement and a 95 percent overall job satisfaction rate.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the exceptional accomplishments of our Goodyear Solid Waste Team in winning the inaugural Workplace Wellness Award from SWANA,” said Sumeet Mohan, Goodyear’s Public Works Director. “This recognition underscores our team's unwavering commitment to prioritizing the well-being of our employees. By effectively implementing our comprehensive health and wellness programs, we have reduced health risks and enhanced the overall quality of life for our workforce. I would also like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our Safety, Risk, and HR teams, whose collaborative efforts were instrumental in achieving this remarkable milestone. Together, we will continue to foster a supportive and thriving workplace environment.”

Best Safety Innovation

City of Tacoma, WA logo

The 2023 SWANA Safety Award for Best Safety Innovation goes to City of Tacoma, WA, Solid Waste Management. How does an organization change the safety culture? For the City of Tacoma, it was via a Safety Coordinator Program that provides individuals with entry-level training in the field of occupational safety for a one-year term. This has helped decrease their days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rate by 44 percent and on-the-job injuries and incidents by seven percent.

"The City of Tacoma Solid Waste Management Division has committed to making Safety every employee’s responsibility,” said Lewis Griffith, Solid Waste Management Division Manager for City of Tacoma. “I am proud of the great innovative ideas and the positive changes to our safety culture that our team has been able to accomplish as people in all roles, from drivers to solid waste workers to administrative staff have stepped up and embraced our ‘Safety Starts With Me’ motto.“

Best Safety Training Program

Leck Waste Services

The 2023 SWANA Safety Award for Best Safety Training Program goes to Leck Waste Services. This is the first year that this award has been presented. Leck Waste Services used a proactive approach towards training and provided employees with electives that they could use to build their careers. This resulted in better employee retention and decreases across the board for recordable incidents, days away from work, workers’ compensation, and auto liability.

“Leck Waste Services is honored to be recognized by SWANA,” said Corporate Health and Safety Compliance Director John Andel. “We are grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and contributions of our team towards improving the overall safety of the waste industry.”

Leck Waste Services has previously won a 2020 Best Safety Innovation Award and was recognized with an Honorable Mention in 2021.

The 2023 SWANA Safety Award winners will be recognized in a ceremony at WASTECON in Boston, Massachusetts, and present on their programs as part of the Safety Summit occurring during the conference.

For more information, visit https://swana.org/community/awards-scholarships/safety-awards.

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