Meet Ramon Diaz III. He is currently the Route Supervisor in charge of the Blue Carts (Recycle) Inspectors for the City of San Antonio Solid Waste Management Department. Ramon has been in the waste & recycling industry for 18+ years.
Ramon was one of the first people to earn the Certified Safe Driver designation from the National Waste & Recycling Association, and we asked him a few questions about this achievement.
NWRA: Why is driver safety important to you?
Ramon Diaz: Early on, as a truck driver for BFI and Waste Management, two leading companies in the waste and recycling industry, I saw first-hand the importance of safe driving and the dangers of unsafe driving and practices e.g., improper pre/post trip inspections, not wearing proper PPE, driving and using electronic devices [while driving], backing with collectors on the steps of a rear-loader etc.
When I was employed by the City of San Antonio as a safety trainer, I used my past experiences and observations to help create a safety program to improve safe driving skills and strive for an accident free environment.
NWRA: How does it feel to be able to use the Certified Safe Driver (CSD) credentials after your name?
Ramon Diaz: It acknowledges my awareness and understanding of safety policies, procedures and expectations. The CSD credential demonstrates my commitment to safety, and has earned me an unparalleled reputation as a proven safety conscious driver.
NWRA: How did you prepare for the certification examination?
Ramon Diaz: I have always been fully committed to safe driving and practices as a collector, driver, safety trainer, and as a Supervisor. When the opportunity to help with the development for the CSD exam and then to take the CSD exam, I felt that I was more than ready—and qualified—to take it.
NWRA: What would you say to your colleagues who may be contemplating taking the Safe Driver certification examination?
Ramon Diaz: By being safety conscious and applying the necessary study/preparatory time and effort, the CSD certification exam can be mastered. Having the CSD credential behind your name is a testament of your commitment to safety on the job, road, and personal lives.
NWRA developed the CSD credential to address the specialized needs of the industry, and the specific driving hazards its employees face daily. An individual who successfully passes the certification exam has a foundational knowledge of industry best practices in driver safety. Certified drivers demonstrate a base level knowledge proficiency in the elements of commercial driving, safety protocols, procedures, regulations, standards and performance.
Drivers, training managers and other safety professionals who earn the Certified Safe Driver (CSD) credential know how to:
- Prevent injury and fatalities
- Demonstrate their knowledge during vehicle inspections
- Mitigate against risks that occur daily
- Mentor new and temporary employees on their route
- Control their vehicle in the most dangerous and hazardous conditions
The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions. Candidates are given 90 minutes to complete the exam. A passing score of 70 percent is needed to be recognized as a Certified Safe Driver (CSD).
Tiffany Jones is the director of certification for the National Waste & Recycling Association. To learn more about the Certified Safe Driver certification, and how your drivers can earn this industry-specific credential, visit the Professional Development page of the NWRA website, or email us at [email protected].