Skills & Training Key to Staying Safe in MRFs

Five to Stay Alive: Latest Safety Materials for Recycling Facility Workers from SWANA

SWANA has developed a new instalment to its ‘Five to Stay Alive’ series that features safety tips for Material Recycling Facility employees.

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The Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) has developed a new instalment to its ‘Five to Stay Alive’ series that features safety tips for Material Recycling Facility (MRF) employees.

The organisation, which is promoting safety within the solid waste industry, said that the number of recycling facility worker fatalities increased over the previous year, and the multitude of injury hazards at recycling facilities remains high.

SWANA explained that the complex and fast-paced environment of a modern MRF requires well-trained and educated employees and employers. Help achieve this it’s “Five to Stay Alive” safety campaign includes flyers and posters that provide a useful set of guidelines for employees to follow in order to reduce accidents and injuries on the job.

“The safety performance of the waste industry is not acceptable, and at least two MRF workers were killed earlier this year,” stated David Biderman, SWANA’s Executive Director and CEO.

“With volatile commodity prices, we urge companies and local governments to not reduce their focus on worker safety,” he continued. “SWANA will continue to provide useful safety resources and training to public and private sector employers and employees in both the United States and Canada. Nothing we do is more important.”

The association said that it is encouraging waste industry professionals to use the tool, in addition to its other safety resources, to continue efforts in creating a positive workplace safety culture, in order to move the solid-waste industry off of the federal government’s list of most dangerous jobs.  

“Our industry is relying more and more on MRFs to remove materials from the waste stream, which makes this new Five to Stay Alive installment particularly relevant,” said Tom Parker, SWANA’s Safety Committee Chair.

“It is imperative that we work safely every minute of every day, and integrating these five basic principles at MRFs can help us achieve this goal,” he continued.

Five to Stay Alive resources are available for download on the SWANA website for easy sharing in promoting safety to colleagues and other industry professionals. The Spanish version will be available in June. 

More information on  SWANA’s award-winning safety program can be found HERE

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