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Need to Know

NWRA to Host Water.Rest.Shade. Safety Stand Down in June

The stand down will offer tools for improving the health and safety of sanitation employees during the summer.

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) announced the launch of its third 2018 Safety Stand Down, which focuses on keeping collection workers safe during hot weather. Through this effort, NWRA is equipping participants with guidance and tools on water, rest and shade as preventative measures to pretext the health of industry workers as temperatures begin to soar in summer months. The 2018 NWRA Safety Stand Down on water, rest and shade launches on June 4 with a week-long training and awareness initiative focused around reducing heat-related illnesses, fatalities and injuries, a common challenge for industries where workers spend considerable time outdoors. This NWRA Safety Stand Down will include a daily focus on safety issues related to keeping cool, hydrated and healthy in warmer weather.

NWRA has made safety its top priority, a pledge shared by its member companies. This Stand Down will provide participating companies with the tools, guidance and support necessary to move the needle on heat-related health incidents. According to the Occupation Safety Administration (OSHA), in 2014, 2,070 injury and illness cases with lost work days involved exposure to environmental heat; 1,160 cases (56 percent) occurred in the services providing industries. The waste and recycling industry falls into this sector. Waste and recycling workers working in hot weather are at risk. Employers must provide safe working conditions and employees must be made aware of the risk. Through this Stand Down, NWRA aims to prepare companies to address this issue and provide employees the resources they need to stay healthy in the heat.

"The purpose of the NWRA Safety Stand Down is to raise awareness, prevent and teach waste and recycling industry workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and provide valuable resources to address these concerns,” said Darrell Smith, NWRA president and CEO, in a statement.

This Stand Down comes on the heels of the NWRA Stand Down on Backing that took place in February. This Stand Down brought together more than 60 percent of the industry for a week of education, discussion and resource sharing to reduce backing-related incidents.

Participation in the NWRA Safety Stand Downs involves waste and recycling companies’ commitment to focusing on employee safety sessions during the week on heat safety, conducting a risk assessment and review of backing policies and procedures and posting Stand Down information at facilities and on social media sites to make employees aware of this effort.

NWRA encourages companies and partners in the waste and recycling industry to register for this Stand Down and share the tips and information learned via social media sites using the hashtag #KeepSafetyCool.

"NWRA and its members and partners in this Stand Down are committed to safety. This is one of multiple efforts NWRA is leading to move the needle on safety in our industry for our workers and the communities we serve," said Smith in a statement.

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