The Big Picture
PCR Credit: Post-Collection Recovery Facility Safety Protocols and Training
(1-3 Points, Reciprocal)
This credit aims to reduce accidents and injuries and ensure worker safety and health outcomes during daily material recovery and organics processing facility operations through attention to hazards and making worker protection a part of company culture.
Case Study and Benefits
Intent and Requirements
To reduce accidents and injuries and ensure worker safety and health outcomes during daily material recovery and organics processing facility operations through attention to hazards and making worker protection a part of company culture.
Local Government and Industry Requirements
- Implement a Safety Incentive Program that is not directly connected with accident-free periods. The program must include ‘whistleblower’ protection where employees are never to be disciplined for identifying and reporting hazards or reporting accidents.
- The employer and the employees shall comply with all state and federal health and safety laws and regulations.
- Establish an employee-led Safety Committee consistent with the following OSHA Recommended practices28:
- Establish regular meetings to be conducted 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 that employees have the opportunity to communicate opinions on the effectiveness of worker safety regulations and suggestions for improvement.
- The Safety Committee should automatically receive all copies of the employer’s OSHA 300 illness and Injury logs as well as the facilities’ personnel-hours
- Ensure that safety committee members have proper, secured storage for OSHA 300 logs as these logs can often contain sensitive employee data. 28 https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/docs/OSHA_SHP_Recommended_Practices.pdf
- 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.
Tier 1: (1 point)
- Verify that weekly safety and equipment usage demonstrations and training are being conducted for all employees
- Operates in a documented safety-training system that complies with ANSI Z245 safety guidelines as applicable.29
- Monitor, record, and report worker illnesses, fatalities and injuries
- 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.30
- 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 Income31
- Provide “Accessible” Training that is available in the predominant/fluent language of the workers being trained:
- Mandatory weekly for new hires for at least the first quarter
- Ongoing monthly training for existing employees)
- Features graphic-based or video training;
- American National Standard (ANSI Z245) symbols are used throughout
Tier 2: (+2 points)
- All the requirements of Tier 1
- Workers receive additional worker training program(s) recognized by their collective bargaining representative.
- Provide “Advanced operational training” covering fixed and onsite mobile equipment
- Training should include both “classroom” and “field” components
- For training on existing equipment or improved existing equipment, Trainers should
- have a minimum of 2 years of full time operating experience on the equipment that is the subject of the training and demonstrated training experience of 100 hours, or equivalent certification.
- For newly introduced equipment (e.g. robotics), Trainers should have a minimum of 6 months of field or laboratory operating experience on the equipment that is the subject of the training and demonstrated training experience of 100 hours, or equivalent certification.
Why We Care
Commiting to safe working includes tracking injuries, complying with safety standards, implementing safety training, and communicating effectively with workers.
Establishing safety protocols and adequate compensation benefits not only the workers, but the entity itself through reduced litigation costs, positive sentiment around waste practices and research, and effective waste management practices.
Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) solution companies such as Airsweb are utilizing software solutions to help managers with risk management, incident reporting, and filing data sheets.
In committing to sustainable materials management, it’s essential to keep people at the forefront of waste reduction research and practices. By providing the essentials of health care, a living wage, and safety, the best outcomes for local governments and businesses, the environment, and the workers can be achieved. In addition, implementing worker safety protocols will help reduce any legal actions that could compromise waste management practices and research, and will aid in building positive sentiment around such waste practices and research.
Following OSHA’s recommendations can drastically reduce workplace injuries and fatalities. Adhering to OSHA guidelines reduces worker injuries and illnesses from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.8 per 100 in 2019. Therefore, better and safer waste management practices and research can be performed. (https://www.osha.gov/data/commonstats)
How to Meet the Requirements
To meet this requirement, implement a Safety Incentive Program that is not directly connected with accident-free periods. The program must include ‘whistleblower’ protection where employees are never to be disciplined for identifying and reporting hazards or reporting accidents. The Employer and the employees shall comply with all state and federal health and safety laws and regulations. A report must be made and provided in order to indicate that this requirement is met.
Accomplish increased operational regulation, safety resources, and safety awareness campaigns by implementing the following recommendations:
- Complete all employee safety and health training programs and track participation and if employees passed tests.
- Incorporate safety training into all onboarding training.
- Complete and record Risk Assessments for all work tasks; remediate identified hazards.
- Implement a system to report near-misses and discuss for practical lessons.
- Implement and follow a Safe Driving Policy & training for facility mobile equipment (option: using SWANA’s template)
- Conduct regular safety training at least weekly for all employees, track attendance.
- Create and maintain standard operating procedures based on industry best practices.
- Regularly hold focus group meetings between employees and employers. Ensure both parties have the opportunity to communicate opinions on the effectiveness of worker safety regulation, and suggestions for improvement.
- Worker participation means that workers are involved in establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving the safety and health program. All workers at a worksite should participate, including those employed by contractors, subcontractors, and temporary staffing agencies.
Case Studies & In-Depth Information
Affordable Care Act
Healthcare.gov Definition: The comprehensive health care reform law enacted in March 2010 (sometimes known as ACA, PPACA, or “Obamacare”). The law has 3 primary goals:
- Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
- Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)
- Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
Alternative Living Wage
A wage that is 150% that of the living wage calculated for your region via the MIT’s Living Wage Calculator or EPI’s Family Budget Calculator.
American National Standard
ANSI Definition: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system and strengthening its impact, both domestically and internationally.
SWANA List of ANSI Z245 standards (there are several different safety requirements and you must buy them to read the whole thing)
EPI’s Family Budget Calculator
EPI Definition/Link to Calculator: EPI’s Family Budget Calculator measures the income a family needs in order to attain a modest yet adequate standard of living. The budgets estimate community-specific costs for 10 family types (one or two adults with zero to four children) in all counties and metro areas in the United States. Compared with the federal poverty line and the Supplemental Poverty Measure, EPI’s family budgets provide a more accurate and complete measure of economic security in America.
Investopedia Definition: A living wage refers to a theoretical income level that allows an individual or family to afford adequate shelter, food, and the other basic necessities. The goal of a living wage is to allow employees to earn enough income for a satisfactory standard of living and to prevent them from falling into poverty. Economists suggest that a living wage should be substantial enough to ensure that no more than 30% of it gets spent on housing.
Median income divides household income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the medium income and one half above the median. For households and families median income is based on the distribution of the total number of households and families including those with no income.
MIT’s Living Wage Calculator
MIT Definition/Link to Calculator: Families and individuals working in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to meet minimum standards given the local cost of living. We developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in your community or region based on typical expenses. The tool helps individuals, communities, and employers determine a local wage rate that allows residents to meet minimum standards of living.
OSHA Recommended Practices
OSHA Definition: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving safety and health in their workplaces. (link to recommended practices is here)
OSHA 300 Illness and Injury Logs
OSHA Definition: The OSHA Form 300 is a form for employers to record all reportable injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace, where and when they occur, the nature of the case, the name and job title of the employee injured or made sick, and the number of days away from work or on restricted or light duty, if any.
CCOHS Definition: Risk assessment is a term used to describe the overall process or method where you:
- Identify hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm (hazard identification).
- Analyze and evaluate the risk associated with that hazard (risk analysis, and risk evaluation).
- Determine appropriate ways to eliminate the hazard, or control the risk when the hazard cannot be eliminated (risk control).
Safe Driving Policy
Sample Policy: The aim of this policy is to prevent accidents Involving company vehicles, rented vehicles and injuries by promoting a safe driving culture within the company.
Safety Incentive Program
EHS: These are programs designed to reward employees for safety-related behaviors and activities, rather than for results. Examples include reporting safety violations, making safety suggestions, taking steps to remedy unsafe situations and volunteering for safety committees.
SWANA Definition: The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research.