National Hauler Safety Month? We're in the Middle of It

You probably know that June is National Safety Month. Depending on how faithfully you visit this site or others in the safety world, you may even know that this month is also National Home Safety Month and National Internet Safety Month (with various groups concentrating their efforts during these summer weeks to disseminate excellent ways to protect children from online predators, among other goals). As it turns out, though, these officially sanctioned/recognized causes are just the tip of the dry iceberg. For June is also National Pet Adoption Month, National Oceans Month, National Scleroderma Awareness Month, National Homeownership Month, National Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, National Hernia Awareness Month, and National Dairy Month, among others.

One of the newer officially recognized subjects of national focus for June is hauling, as in transporting trash and hazardous waste. The campaign to celebrate June as Hauler Safety Month was launched in Connecticut in June 2006, but this month OSHA and the Integrated Waste Services Association stepped in and took the campaign nationwide. The kickoff took place June 13 at Covanta Energy's Fairfax County Resource Recovery facility in Lorton, Va., with a ceremony featuring speeches from OSHA, Virginia state Senator Jay O'Brien, and representatives of the waste-to-energy industry and the VPPP Association, among others. In addition to the event, which was conducted as part of the alliance between the IWSA and OSHA, most of the IWSA member facilities will host a "Hauler Safety Day" at their sites throughout the rest of the month to help reinforce the message to haulers to make safety an integral part of their work. A number of OSHA area offices will also participate in these activities.

OSHA chief Edwin G. Foulke Jr. said the kickoff event "highlights the importance placed on the safety for those who haul trash for a living. Government and industry are working together to make the waste-to-energy workplace safer for everyone who delivers the waste that powers our neighborhoods and communities. . . . Hauling waste can be a dangerous business. Hauler Safety Month is focused on addressing hazards by educating waste haulers, owners, operators, and employees with best practices for safety and health. I am very proud of what OSHA and IWSA are accomplishing."

Energy-from-waste facilities generate electricity and power from household trash. Eighty-eight power plants in more than 20 states generate nearly 2700 megawatts of electricity from nearly 29 million tons of waste each year. For more information about this industry, visit http://www.wte.org.

"We want to thank the men and women who haul municipal solid waste," said Anthony Orlando, president and CEO of Covanta Holding Corp. "Hauler Safety Month is about keeping them safe by promoting awareness of the rules of safety--not only for themselves, but also for their family, friends and loved ones. Covanta is a leader in the Energy-from-Waste field, and by embracing this safety campaign, we are assisting in leading the industry to an even healthier and safer workplace."

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