The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has released a Hauler Safety Toolkit that will be handed out to solid waste haulers throughout North America, ensuring that safety resources are available to companies and municipalities of all sizes.
The toolkit, which was developed by the SWANA Chapter Safety Ambassadors, features valuable safety resources in a simple, shareable form that SWANA Chapters intend to use at Hauler Safety Outreach events. These one-day events are designed to get safety messaging directly into the hands of drivers when they bring material to landfills, transfer stations, waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and other sites.
“The SWANA Hauler Safety Toolkit is a great resource to touch drivers, helpers, supervisors and managers in the waste industry and sends a consistent safety message to all industry professionals,” said James Profitt, assistant manager of operations at Montgomery County Solid Waste Services and SWANA’s Safety Ambassador for Ohio, in a statement. “I plan to work with landfills, transfer stations, and MRFs in Ohio to provide a consistent message about safety along with some specific rules and regulations for each disposal site.”
SWANA Safety Ambassadors will take the lead in distributing the toolkit during Hauler Safety Outreach days throughout both the U.S. and Canada during the remainder of 2018. In addition to providing safety resources, drivers and haulers will be asked to take the SWANA Safety Pledge. This pledge commits them, in part, “to help everyone get home safe every single day” and to “consider worker, customer and public safety in every decision.”
SWANA has discussed this outreach initiative with safety leaders at the largest solid waste companies in North America and has received overwhelming support for this effort.
"At Republic, we are excited to support SWANA’s efforts to reach haulers directly with safety resources," said Jim Olson, senior vice president of safety at Republic Services, in a statement. "It is the responsibility of everyone in this industry to make sure workers get home safely every day."
By designing the toolkit and outreach events aimed directly at haulers of all sizes, SWANA hopes to reduce the rate of injuries and fatalities for collection workers, who currently have the fifth highest occupational fatality rate in the United States.
“The leaders in this industry have trouble reaching the small haulers with safety messages because small haulers aren’t typically members of any national association,” David Biderman, executive director and CEO of SWANA, told Waste360. “Over the last few years, there has been an increasing percentage of fatal accidents of collection workers involving small haulers, and to help reduce that percentage, SWANA decided to think outside the box and develop a toolkit that would help small haulers and others communicate better and become more in-tune with industry best practices. This is our most significant new safety initiative for 2018, and we are pleased that many of the larger companies in the industry that own majority of landfills, transfer stations, WTE facilities and MRFs have agreed to participate. We are offering this free toolkit to SWANA members and nonmembers because safety is that important, and there needs to be an ongoing conversation about safety in this industry.”