The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, has announced its New Jersey and New York State chapters, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regional Office in New York has signed a Regional Alliance agreement to help protect workers from health and safety hazards present in all aspects of the solid waste industry.
OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson, SWANA CEO David Biderman, SWANA New Jersey Chapter President Brain E. Henning and SWANA New York Chapter President Luann Meyer signed the two-year agreement during a virtual ceremony April 14.
“We are excited to be working with OSHA at the regional level to reduce the frequency of worker fatalities and injuries in New York and New Jersey," Biderman says. “There have been two fatal incidents in New Jersey over the past nine months that could have been prevented through better safety education, training and communications. This regional alliance will help SWANA expand its safety outreach to small haulers and others.”
Swana says the alliance will work to reduce and prevent exposure to transportation hazards, like backovers, distracted driving, falls, needlestick injuries, heat and cold stress, musculoskeletal injuries and more. The alliance says it has a particular emphasis on outreach to small and medium-sized employers.
“Public-private sector partnerships focused on worker safety and health training at all levels are a proven method to enhance worker safety in the waste collection industry,” Mendelson says. “Partnerships like these make a significant difference in ensuring workers can thrive in a culture of safety.”
Swana says the alliance with the OSHA regional office in New York is another step in its commitment to reduce worker injuries and fatalities through awareness, training and education.