Safety at Facilities
Just as we work with the industry trade association to encourage legislation to improve the safety of our fleet personnel, we also work with our trade associations, customers and the communities in which we operate to identify how they can do their part to enhance facility safety. A priority for 2017 has been increasing safety in recycling facilities. Discovering the wrong thing in the recycling bins we pick up can have serious consequences for recycling processing. “Tanglers” like garden hoses and Christmas lights thrown into the recycling bin create hazards for employees, as do banned materials like propane tanks and batteries. Lithium batteries have become a significant safety hazard at Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs). They are used in numerous appliances and cause fires when their casing is compromised. Waste Management is working with other industry stakeholders to educate the public on the hazards associated with these batteries. We work with our communities to emphasize the safety benefits of recycling right in order to reduce safety hazards at our recycling facilities.
Our internal safety manuals and training for our landfills and processing facilities are extensive, focusing on full compliance with safety standards and policies, use of required protective equipment, preventive maintenance, good practice guidance and mandatory monthly training.
We have a tailored program for the protection of facilities with limited personnel demands. At some closed landfills, renewable energy plants and recycling drop-off facilities, staffing may be limited to a single person. What if a lone worker needs emergency assistance while on the job? Our Call for Safety program offers a tool that can provide protection.
The Lone Safe Monitoring Device is about the size of a cell phone and attaches to a belt. Its motion sensors detect if an employee has been motionless for a period of time, which triggers an alert. Unless the alert is deactivated, a signal is sent to our Security Operations Center in Houston, Texas, which contacts the employee or emergency responders. The device also features a silent panic button and GPS tracking in case a worker falls or an impact occurs.