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Playing it Safe

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When I was working in my former life as a television news reporter, every year the time would come to start thinking about the Emmys. Reporters, producers, writers, and editors would all gather our best work from the past year and send them off to a distant local news market where they would be judged.

For a few years, I watched the same group of reporters, producers, writers, editors win Emmy after Emmy. I was disappointed because I knew that I had submitted entries that were much better than the winning ones.

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And then I happened to be filling in on a reporter shift late one Sunday night. I walked into the newsroom to find a group of producers, writers, and editors who worked the regular weekday 9 to 5, sitting around a conference table with boxes of pizza and bottles of soda. It seems they were judging Emmy entries from another news market.

I learned they weren’t judging by any established standard criteria. They would just go through the tapes and choose what they thought should win, seemingly relying only on their knowledge and experience. Occasionally I would hear, “Oh she had that great report last year!”

After that day, I never submitted another Emmy entry.

Even though some of those taking part in the Emmy entry judging party had extensive knowledge and experience, there were some who had less than I. In my mind, it became nothing more than a popularity contest.

Here’s my point. The 2018 SWANA Safety Awards are calling for submissions.

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2018. They’re looking for submissions for the categories of “Best Safety Innovation” and “Best Safety Improvement.” And unlike those local TV Emmy judging parties, there are standard criteria on which safety submissions will be judged.

There is a procedure for evaluation. “All entries will initially be judged by a committee from the appropriate Technical Division. That committee will select a winner for that Division. The SWANA Safety Committee will then review the winning Division applications and select an overall winner.”

You can find all the information you need on SWANA’s website.

The winners of the 2018 SWANA Safety Awards will be announced in August at Wastecon 2018 in Nashville, TN.

Solid waste collection workers continued to have the fifth deadliest job in the US in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  MSW_bug_web

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