Safety is our top priority, and every Waste Management employee has a critical role in understanding potential safety risks — most notably those associated with transportation incidents and unique workplace hazards.
Safety on the Roads
Waste Management Safety Services’ behavior-based safety culture is focused on teaching and building knowledge while coaching every Waste Management employee on addressing unsafe conditions. Our Mission-to-Zero program was created in 2002 and is driven by the pursuit of having zero unsafe actions, behaviors or conditions. The program is designed to engage employees around prevention rather than simply tracking outcomes.
Driving safety risks are inherent to our industry. Collection drivers not only have to be well-trained when it comes to operating vehicles, but they have to constantly be on the lookout for other drivers on the road, mainly those in a hurry to pass our collectors during stops. The National Waste and Recycling Association has made significant progress in getting “Slow Down to Get Around” (SDTGA) legislation passed in 21 states thus far. The legislation requires drivers to slow down when passing refuse trucks.
As part of our shared responsibility to safety by employees and leadership alike, we created our Peer Review safety program, a process in which drivers and technicians may voluntarily choose to appeal safety-related rule violations to field-based “Peer Review Boards” comprised of fellow employees chosen at random. Since 2011, Peer Review has expanded to 70 sites, covering over 5,600 employees.
During a Peer Review hearing, both the affected employee and management present evidence, with the scope of review limited to whether the rule at issue was violated. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board votes anonymously whether to sustain or overturn management’s decision.
Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) is the rate used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to track and report work-related injuries and illnesses. When comparing Waste Management to the published Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) data for the waste management and remediation services industry, Waste Management has consistently outperformed the industry since 2005. Waste Management is taking active steps to prevent injuries through programs such as its Injury and Illness Management program, Hazardous Energy Control Program and other initiatives timed with seasonal risks such as heat illnesses in the summer and slips, trips and falls in the fall and winter.
Days Away/Restricted or Transfer (DART) rate is the rate used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to track and report work-related injuries and illnesses that result in lost time, restricted duty or transfer to another work function. When comparing Waste Management to the published Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) DART data for the Waste Management and Remediation Services industry, Waste Management has consistently outperformed the industry since 2005. In addition to the programs and awareness campaigns undertaken to prevent all injuries and illnesses, Waste Management has also taken a structured approach to reducing the severity of incidents through safety processes that limit risk to employees wherever possible. Waste Management also works to provide prompt and complete medical care to employees who have suffered a work-related injury or illness to support their return to full duty as quickly as possible.
Vehicle Accident Recordable Rate (VARR) is the rate used by Waste Management to track vehicle-on-vehicle accidents. In 2016, Waste Management chose to exclude specific incidents where Other Vehicles Initiated Impact (OVII), resulting in a significant improvement in the overall metric performance between 2015 and 2016. Note the 2016 and 2017 VARR excludes OVII incidents. Beginning in 2018, Waste Management is switching from the VARR to the Hourly Accident Recordable Rate (HARR) metric to encourage a focus on behaviors rather than on outcome of vehicle accidents.
Hourly Accident Recordable Rate (HARR) is the rate used by Waste Management to track vehicle accidents, including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-property type accidents. In 2016, Waste Management chose to exclude specific incidents where Other Vehicles Initiated Impact (OVII), resulting in a significant increase in the overall metric performance between 2015 and 2016. Note the 2016 and 2017 HARR excludes OVII incidents. The HARR metric encourages completing a root cause investigation on all incidents involving a Waste Management vehicle to help identify interventions to prevent future accidents.