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California OKs Safety Proposal That Worried NWRA

California has approved a proposal that the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) was concerned would undercut waste industry worker safety.

The Washington-based association expressed worry that the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) was proposing to reduce the allowable speed for right-side drive waste collection vehicles. The NWRA feared that it instead would hurt national safety momentum in the waste industry.

Cal/OSHA’s standards board adopted its proposal. Peter Melton, spokesman for Cal/OSHA, provided an e-mail statement regarding the state’s perspective: “In response to the speed limit question, the board adopted the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) 245.1 standard’s recommended speed limit of 20 mph during collection from the right-hand, or secondary, position.” The rulemaking package was submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.

David Biderman, vice president of government affairs for the NWRA, responded in an e-mail, “We are reviewing the board’s decision and (are) contemplating next steps.”

Melton said in an earlier e-mail that the standards board was proposing adoption of elements of the ANSI standard, which governs the use of waste and recycling vehicles. He said the board was not proposing any changes to safety measures taken from the consensus standard.

Biderman said in December, and he reiterated it recently, that “No federal, state or local government safety fact sheet concerning the industry has ever identified falling out of a right-side drive vehicle as a priority concern.”





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