OSHA Makes Alliance with NWRA and SWANA for a Better Solid Waste Industry

OSHA Makes Alliance with NWRA and SWANA for a Better Solid Waste Industry

As of September 27, OSHA signed an alliance with the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). The goal? To better protect workers in the waste industry.

OSHA latest national alliance is with the national waste and recycling associations for the betterment of both worker safety and the environment. The Alliance between OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA will provide NWRA and SWANA members and the public with important information, guidance, and access to resources that will help them protect workers in the solid waste industry.

The Alliance will address a few specific areas such as transportation hazards like backovers and distracted driving; slips, trips, and falls; needlestick injuries; heat and cold stress; musculoskeletal injuries; and other topics. Specific emphasis will be on outreach to small- and medium-sized employers to help them understand the responsibilities of employers under the OSHA Safety and Health Act. 

How do the groups intend to deliver this important safety and health information? The answer: through the outreach and communication methods listed below.

  • Share information on OSHA’s National Initiatives and opportunities to participate in initiatives and the rulemaking process.
  • Share information on the laws and standards of occupational safety and health, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.
  • Develop information on the recognition and prevention of transportation hazards like those listed above. Communicate such information to employers and workers in the solid waste industry via the Safety Monday e-newsletter, the OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA websites, and other mechanisms, as appropriate.
  • Speak, exhibit, and appear at OSHA, NWRA, SWANA conferences, local meetings, or other events, such as WasteExpo, WASTECON, and SWANApalooza.
  • Convene or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings on solid waste industry hazards to help drive innovate solutions for workplace health and safety.
  • Collaborate with other Alliance Program participants to address other industry safety and health issues like needlestick hazards in waste and recycling collection and processing.
  • Encourage NWRA and SWAN members and other industry stakeholders to build relationships with OSHA’s Regional and Area Offices, participate in OSHA’s Cooperative Programs (such as the Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program and the Voluntary Protection Program), and utilize OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program to improve health and safety in solid waste workplaces. 

The designated team for implementation of the Alliance’s goals will meet one to two times per year to discuss the responsibilities of the participants, share information on activities, and track results in achieving such goas. OSHA team members will include representatives of the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, the Directorate of Enforcement Programs, and any other appropriate offices.

The agreement will remain in effect for two years. For more information on the official announcement of the Alliance, read OSHA’s article.

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