National Alliance Created to Keep Solid Waste Workers Safe

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SWANA partners with NWRA and OSHA to improve worker safety and health practices

Silver Spring, MD – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have signed an Alliance agreement to provide SWANA members, NWRA members and the public with information, guidance, and access to resources to help protect the health and safety of workers in the solid waste industry.

 OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt, SWANA CEO & Executive Director David Biderman, and NWRA President & CEO Darrell Smith signed the two-year agreement on September 27, 2019, at the U.S. Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building. They were joined by SWANA Chapter Safety Ambassadors, county and municipal safety directors, and other representatives from the waste and recycling industry and OSHA to recognize this important partnership. 

“SWANA will work closely with NWRA and OSHA to provide timely and useful safety information and resources to the entire industry,” said Biderman. “It doesn’t matter whether a solid waste employee is in the public or private sector; our goal is to protect all solid waste workers. Our network of 42 state chapters in the U.S. provides a nationwide platform for distributing safety information developed under this Alliance.”

The Alliance agreement commits the associations and OSHA to collaborate in safety training and education efforts with a focus on backovers and distracted driving; slips, trips, and falls; needlestick injuries; heat and cold stress; and musculoskeletal injuries. It also provides the opportunity to include OSHA National, Regional and Area Offices in events such as WASTECON® and SWANApalooza.

This Alliance adds an important new component to SWANA’s award-winning safety program, which includes SWANA’s Chapter Safety Ambassadors, Hauler Safety Outreach, Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA), and Safety Summits. The 7th Annual Safety Summit will occur this year at WASTECON® in Phoenix, Arizona, October 21-24, and will feature Biderman discussing the new partnership along with SWANA’s other safety efforts. 

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