Athens Services celebrates safety success at MRF

The material recovery facility in the City of Industry, California, recently celebrated 500,000 hours of operation without an injury.

Worker in safety gear overseeing work inside a material recovery facility

Athens Services, La Puente, California, is celebrating 606 days, or 500,000 work hours, without a lost-time incident at its material recovery facility (MRF) in the City of Industry, California

The MRF operates six days per week with more than 100 team members sorting and transferring more than 3,000 tons of waste, recycling, and organic material daily from cities in Los Angeles County.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), MRF jobs are the fifth most dangerous in the world.

Recognizing this fact, in 2018 Athens launched the “Road to Zero” safety program, a company-wide initiative to put safety first. The program consisted of enhanced daily safety training, integration of technology such as cameras in trucks and throughout the facility and the establishment of a safety lead within the facility

Since implementing the “Road to Zero,” the MRF has decreased its total incident rate (TIR) to a level of zero in 2021 and through July 28, 2022. According to the BLS, the industry TIR average for MRFs in 2020 (the most recent year available) was 5.1, putting Athens ahead of the industry.

“Employees want to be involved, and asking their opinion is a high-impact way to include employees. It is a form of recognition that acknowledges the employee’s expertise, which we can all afford to do more often,” Athens Services Direcot of Safety Jaime Britt says.

At an award ceremony honoring the event, Britt recognized 10 Athens team members, each of whom had recorded more than 20 years without an accident.

“The influence of these workers on their peers is immeasurable. It shows the importance of teamwork. Everyone wants to be on a winning team,” he says.

The team members who were recognized and their record of years without an accident were:

  • Efrain Olmos, operations manager, 42 years;
  • Andy Lucero, MRF supervisor, 34 years;
  • Salvador De La Torre, transfer driver, 29 years;
  • Rodrigo Vargas, mechanic, 29 years;
  • Jesus Martinez, transfer driver, 28 years;
  • Carlos Guillen, transfer driver, 27 years;
  • Jose Duran, heavy equipment operator­­, 25 years;
  • Jose Guevara, operations lead, 25 years;
  • Alejandro Pedro, roll-off driver­, 25 years; and
  • Ramon Quintero, transfer driver, 25 years.


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