Baler and Compactor Safety Standards To Undergo Revision

Work is about to begin on a major revision of the waste and recycling industry's two oldest safety standards, the New York-based American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z245.2-1997, Stationary Compactors Safety Requirements, and the ANSI Z245.5-1997, Bailing Equipment Safety Requirements.

These standards establish safety regulations for the manufacture, rebuilding, installation, maintenance and use of balers and compactors in the waste and recycling industries. They apply to manufacturers and equipment users, and address:

* Lockout/tagout of hazardous energy sources;

* Drive mechanism guarding;

* Installation requirements;

* Construction, reconstruction and modification requirements;

* Safety markings and signs;

* Operational requirements;

* Start-up alarms; and

* Loading chamber requirements.

The Accredited Standards Com-mittee (ASC) Z245 for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Re-cyclable Materials set standards for compactors 27 years ago and for balers 18 years ago. These standards are revised approximately every five years, as required by ANSI. Other ANSI Z245 standards include those for mobile refuse collection, processing and disposal equipment, waste containers, and facilities processing commingled recyclables.

The latest version of compactor and baler standards, released in 1997, included the requirement that machines have a key lock start switch. It also restricted operation of the machines to trained persons 18 years of age or older.

The revision most likely will include a safety training program and other requirements identified by the ASC. In addition, the revisions will be drafted in a new, uniform format shared by all ASC Z245 standards.

Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, D.C., now uses ANSI standards in work site inspections, not complying with ANSI Z245 standards can result in an OSHA citation.

Three other ANSI Z245 standards recently were revised: ANSI Z245.1-1992, Mobile Collection and Compaction Equipment Safety Requirements recently completed public comment; and ANSI Z245.30-1994, Waste Containers Safety Requirements and ANSI Z245.60-1996, Waste Containers Compatibility Dimensions, currently are in the public comment phase, which ends October 12. If no objections are received, drafts will be sent to ANSI for final approval and publication will follow.

Two new standards also are under development by the ASC Z245 committee. When finalized, they will be designated ANSI Z245.70, Size Reduction Equipment Safety Requirements, which will establish safety requirements for industrial or commercial size reduction equipment, and ANSI Z245.71, Mobile Industrial Tub Grinders Safety Requirements, which provides the means for protecting personnel during set-up, normal operation, maintenance and service of mobile industrial tub grinders.

ANSI establishes the rules and procedures for due process that must be followed by standards developers to retain accreditation. The ASC's Z245 Committee on Waste and Recyclable Materials, which is comprised of waste and recycling representatives such as haulers, distributors and government regulators, creates the standards. The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA), Wash- ington, D.C., holds the secretariat, publishes them, and provides funding for and oversees the ASC's activities.

To become involved in the standards development activity, contact Nate Wall, secretary of the ASC Z245 Committee, The Environmental Industry Associa-tions, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Ste. 300, Washington, D.C. 20008. Phone: (202) 364-3709. E-mail:

Test Your Paper Recycling Knowledge 1. When sorting paper, one must weed out contaminants such as:

a) metal

b) ink

c) plastic

d) answers a and c

e) none of the above

2. The substance the recovered paper becomes after it is chopped and heated is called:

a) fibers

b) pulp

c) seeds

d) mush

e) none of the above

3. What happens to colored paper in the recycling process?

a) It is treated with color stripping chemicals

b) It is separated and sent to a landfill

c) It is used to make other colored paper

d) none of the above

4. A crucial ingredient in making recycled paper from recovered paper is water.

a) true

b) false

5. Recovered paper provides one-third of all the fiber used at U.S. paper mills.

a) true

b) false