SWC Credit 7: Commitment to Safe Working Conditions


SWC Credit 7: Commitment to Safe Working Conditions (3 points)



Ensure worker safety and health outcomes during daily waste collection through hazard identification and remediation and making worker protection a part of organizational culture.

Local Government and Industry Requirements:

Increase operational oversight of safety resources and safety awareness in the collection and transport of waste materials (MSW and C&D). Priority must be taken to protect workers from danger on the job, including on the street, inside buildings, inside the vehicle cab, and behind/beside the vehicle hauling and discharging or off-loading material by undertaking all of the following actions, as applicable:

●      Make available and complete all employee safety and health training programs that are appropriate for the methods of collection utilized. Training programs must be conducted in the primary language of the attending employees.

●      Provide safety resources to managers and employees that advise all employees of health and safety hazards they may reasonably expect to face in their daily activities and the importance of safety in general .

●      Comply with ANSI Z245 safety standards as applicable.

●      Compile documentation of job hazards for each employees’ tasks, which is reviewed by an Employee Safety Committee.

●      Complete and record Risk Assessments for all work tasks using ANSI Standard Z10, OSHA 3071, or OSHA’s recommended practices.

○      Any identified violations must be remediated

○      http://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/docs/OSHA_SHP_Recommended_Practices.pdf

●      Monitor, record, report, and analyze work related illnesses, worker fatalities and injuries utilizing OSHA 300 logs and/or State OSHA logs, if equivalent. All incidents should be investigated, regardless of the extent of injury, illness or property damage.

○      Follow procedures in OSHA Field and Safety and Health Manual Appendix B Hazard Reporting and Incident Investigation Worksheet or comparable State procedures if equivalent.

●      Drivers should limit hours driven consecutively. A 30-minute non-driving break should take place between the 4th and 6th hour of driving. Drivers should work no more than 12 hours per day. Drivers should not work more than 6 days consecutively except in situations of responding to Force Majeure events. Or state/federal regulations, whichever is more stringent.                                                        

●      Regularly hold employee led Safety Committee meetings during paid hours. Ensure that Safety Committee members receive the necessary safety training to enable them to effectively perform their required functions as committee members. Ensure employees have the opportunity to communicate opinions on the effectiveness of worker safety regulations and be able to voice suggestions for the improvement of these programs. Worker participation means that workers are involved in establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving safety and health programs. All workers involved in collection at a worksite should participate, including those employed by contractors, subcontractors, and temporary staffing agencies.

○      Safety Committee members must be democratically elected

○      Safety Committee members must have proper, secured storage for OSHA 300 logs as these logs often contain sensitive employee data.

○      All copies of the employer’s OSHA 300 Illness and Injury logs, or equivalent, are automatically shared with the Safety Committee in a timely fashion

○      The results of a Safety Committee observation can only be used to discipline workers if there is an observation of illegal or recklessly endangering activity.

○      No worker shall be punished or discriminated against in any way for refusing work that he or she believes in good faith to be immediately dangerous or for bringing health and safety violations to the attention of any person.

●      Provide workers with a health insurance plan that has the characteristics of an Affordable Care Act qualified plan for pre-existing conditions, young adult coverage, cancellation and appeals, benefit limits, and preventative care.  The health insurance plan should also have, at a minimum, an actuarial value of 90% that covers all employees and family members, with no employee/family payroll premium deductions or waiting periods regardless of company size.

●      Ensure all workers are paid not less than a Living Wage, including hourly wage, benefits, and paid overtime OR an Alternative Living Wage set at 150% of the Minimum Wage.[1]

○      To determine the Living Wage for your region, utilize MIT’s Living Wage Calculator or EPI’s Family Budget Calculator. If you are using a living wage calculator, the calculated Living Wage should not exceed the Median Household Income[2].

Potential Strategies:

●      Convene Employee led Safety Committee.

●      Conduct an OSHA-level audit of driving practice.

●      Review past safety records to identify potential problems to remedy.

●      Participate in industry Safety Summits and other safety conferences and workshops.

Provide safety resources to employees that include but are not limited to: SWANA’s 5 to Stay Alive materials, Safety Monday, Slow Down to Get Around information, EPA’s Heat Rest Shade info.

[1] As will be further described in the Certification Manual, the Living Wage is calculated as follows–Either use the referenced living wage calculators or use the Alternative Living wage. The Alternative Living Wage is defined as 150% of the Minimum Wage. The Minimum Wage is defined as the average of 1) the existing Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25/hr., indexed to current dollars using the CPI deflator (https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) and 2) Fifteen dollars ($15/hr.). For the Pilot Program, the Applicable Minimum Wage is calculated as $11.75/hr. The Alternative Living Wage for SWEEP is calculated to be $17.63/hr.

[2] SWEEP uses a Median Household Income of $60,293 defined by the Census of the United States. https://www.census.gov/search-results.html?q=median+income&page=1&stateGeo=none&searchtype=web&cssp=SERP&_charset_=UTF-8

9 thoughts on “SWC Credit 7: Commitment to Safe Working Conditions

  1. jesselmaxwell

    “Workers receive additional worker training program(s) recognized by their collective bargaining representative.”
    – Does not address SWANA’s previous comment regarding local governments that do not have collective bargaining units.

  2. jesselmaxwell

    “Under no circumstances can the results of a Safety Committee observation…”
    – Employees should receive additional training, but if they remain a habitual unsafe worker this creates great liability to the employer

    1. Will Zurier

      We agree with you on this comment. In SWC Credit 8: OSHA Compliant Practices and Safe Vehicle Processes, there is language that we plan on adapting into SWC Credit 7
      “●Utilize vehicle monitoring devices to analyze Safety Leading Indicators
      ○ The first offense shall result in training unless there was extreme disregard for the law and taught safety practices. The second offense shall result in discipline.
      ○ No employee driver shall be discharged if such discharge is based solely upon information received from GPS, telematics, or any successor system that similarly tracks or surveils a driver’s movements unless he/she engages in dishonesty (any intentional act or omission by an employee where he/she intends to defraud the Company) or extreme disregard for the law or safety practices, as set by the employee-led safety committees.

    1. Will Zurier

      The definition of “incidents” will be provided in SWEEP’s Compliance Manual

      As of now, SWEEP defines incidents as Anything that violates or appears to violate safety or other procedures/violations that have been captured or reported

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