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Fundamentally Safe and Sound

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A good coach will continue to preach the importance of good fundamentals. Even if all the practice and drilling starts to wear thin or get repetitive, that coach will stick to his guns and keep pushing those fundamentals. When it comes to safety, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is . . . and has been . . . an extremely good coach. Its “Five to Stay Alive” series safety tips are specialized for workers based on job function and location. They provide basic information to help reduce accidents and injuries with tips for composting operations, MRFs, transfer stations, landfills, and collection workers. Each package is available on the SWANA website and contains a printable PDF in letter and poster size in English and Spanish.

Managing municipal solid waste is more than landfilling: publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy are specialties needed in today’s complex environment. We’ve created a handy infographic featuring 6 tips to improve landfill management and achieve excellence in operations.  6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Download it now!

Just this week, SWANA added to the series with safety tips for waste-to-energy (WTE) employees. WTE sites are highly mechanized environments where humans and powerful machines frequently come into contact. Although WTE employers have low injury rates, there are safety hazards and risks throughout these facilities. The key to improving safety at these facilities involves not only proper initial training for workers, but regular refreshers to keep employees from falling into dangerous habits.

SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman says “I am proud of SWANA’s latest addition to its award-winning safety resources. More than 33 million tons of solid waste are processed annually at roughly 77 WTE facilities in the United States, and there are a handful of WTE facilities in Canada as well. These new safety resources will help workers at these important disposal facilities work safely, every day.”

Bruce Howie, Vice President at HDR and a past SWANA Waste-To-Energy Technical Division Director, worked with SWANA to develop the new “Five to Stay Alive” installment.

He says, “Waste-to-energy facility operators have long been leaders in implementing some of the most stringent and forward-thinking safety standards in the solid waste industry; however, even the strictest standards won’t protect employees if not followed by everyone, and waste-to-energy facilities are still not immune from lost-time accidents and even worker deaths. This reality makes this installment of the “Five to Stay Alive” for the waste-to-energy industry relevant for everyone from the plant’s operators to the occasional plant visitor.”

It keeps getting repeated: “Five to stay alive.”

An old high school coach of mine used to yell, “San Diego!” (For some reason, he wouldn’t say “Santiago.”) “San Diego, get on that line and do your push-ups! If you’re smart you’ll do push-ups for the rest of your life!”

Good fundamentals . . . I got it, coach! MSW_bug_web

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