WTE sites are highly mechanized environments where humans and powerful machines frequently come into contact. Although WTE employers have low injury rates, SWANA says 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.
The Five to Stay Alive safety campaign includes flyers and posters that provide a useful set of guidelines for employees to follow with the goal of reducing accidents and injuries on the job.
“I am proud of SWANA’s latest addition to its award-winning safety resources,” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “More than 33 million tons of solid waste are processed annually at roughly 77 WTE facilities in the U.S., 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, Omaha, Nebraska, and past SWANA WTE technical division director, worked with SWANA to develop the new Five to Stay Alive installment.
“WTE 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 WTE facilities are still not immune from lost time accidents and even worker deaths,” Howie says. “This reality makes this installment of the Five to Stay Alive for the WTE industry relevant for everyone from the plant’s operators to the occasional plant visitor.”
Five to Stay Alive resources are available for download on the SWANA website. To learn more about SWANA’s safety program, visit swana.org/safety.