When you think about safety, you often focus on keeping front-line workers (drivers, helpers, heavy equipment operators, mechanics) safe and preventing them from being injured or killed in an accident. Recent events have shown Waste Industry managers and supervisors also need to ensure the safety of their temporary workers, contractors and customers:
- 26 year old construction worker was killed when a front-end load backed over him at a Massachusetts Transfer Station.
- A San Francisco Public Works temporary worker was killed when he tripped and fell in front of the rear wheels of a garbage truck and was run over.
- A Houston recycling temporary worker died from heat illness after only one day due to lack of proper instruction.
When these incidents occur, the headline is always about “Transfer Station” or the “trash truck”. Reporters and others usually do not distinguish between solid waste companies and their vendors. The industry gets an (unfair) black eye when these accidents occur, and not incidentally, someone’s son, father, husband or wife is hurt or killed. Taking care of your contractors and customers should be an important part of your safety program.