CM: SWC Credit-Commitment to Safe Working Conditions 

SWC Economic Performance KPI

The Big Picture

SWC Credit: Commitment to Safe Working Conditions 

(3 Points, Reciprocal)

Credit Summary

This credit aims to ensure solid waste worker safety and health. It is extremely important to have a high standard of worker safety and health when dealing with waste collection. Hazard identification and remediation plays a significant role in making certain that worker safety and health is a part of the organization’s culture. 

Impact Summary

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. 

Submittal Summary

Documentation must be provided proving that you have calculated the Living Wage through either the referenced living wage calculator or use the Alternative Living wage. The expectation for these metrics can be found below. 

Case Study and Benefits

As seen below, Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) solution companies aim to help businesses and local governments implement protocols that create preventative actions. Many of these EHS companies utilize big data, AI, wearable technology, body sensors, and predictive analytics to mitigate workplace injuries. For example, Airsweb has created an EHS, Risk & Compliance Software that they have used on a number of their partners to help efficiently manage and track workplace data. Their software also allows for environmental performance reporting, along with provided safety data sheets, risk management and reporting, and incident management systems.

Intent and Requirements

Intent

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 & 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. 22
    • 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 Income23.

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, Osha’s Water. Rest. Shade info.

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

Meet all local government and industry requirements above, including: implement training programs, provide safety resources, comply with ANSI Z245 safety standards, document job hazards to be reviewed by an Employee Safety Committee, complete and record Risk Assessments using ANSI Standard Z10, OSHA 2071, or OSHA’s recommended practices, monitor, report, report, analyze, and investigate all work related injuries, limit driving hours, hold employee led Safety Committee meetings during paid hours for optimal communication, provide a health insurance plan, and pay a wage no less that a Living Wage or Alternative Living Wage. 

In holding Safety Committee meetings, it’s essential that all committee members are democratically elected and that members have proper, secure, and timely access to OSHA 300 logs. No worker should be punished or discriminated against for refusing to do work that they believe in good faith to be dangerous. Only use the results of a Safety Committee observation to discipline workers if there has been illegal or reckless endangering activity.

Use the given calculators to determine a Living Wage or an Alternative Living Wage. Other resources that can be used include the OSHA Recommended practices guidelines page for identifying and remediating all workplace violations. 

Required Documentation

Calculations:

  • Calculate the Living Wage through either the referenced living wage calculator or use the Alternative Living wage
    • For the Pilot Program, the Application Minimum Wage is calculated as $11.75/hr. The Alternative Living Wage for SWEEP is calculated to be $17.63/hr
    • The Minimum Wage is calculated using the average of 1) the existing Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25/hr. Indexed to current dollars using the CPI deflator and 2) Fifteen dollars ($15/hr)

Case Studies & In-Depth Information

Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) solution companies aim to help businesses and local governments implement protocols that create preventative actions. Many of these EHS companies utilize big data, AI, wearable technology, body sensors, and predictive analytics to mitigate workplace injuries. For example, Airsweb has created an EHS, Risk & Compliance Software that they have used on a number of their partners to help efficiently manage and track workplace data. Their software also allows for environmental performance reporting, along with provided safety data sheets, risk management and reporting, and incident management systems.

https://www.airsweb.com/solutions

Referenced Standards

n/a

Definitions

Actuarial Value 

Healthcare Definition: The percentage of total average costs for covered benefits that a plan will cover. For example, if a plan has an actuarial value of 70%, on average, you would be responsible for 30% of the costs of all covered benefits.

ANSI Standard Z10 

ANSI Definition: The ANSI/ASSP Z10.0 standard helps to establish OSH management systems to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better working conditions.

ANSI Z245 Safety Standards 

SWANA List of ANSI Z245 standards (there are several different safety requirements and you must buy them to read the whole thing) 

OSHA’s Water. Rest. Shade

A detailed OSHA list of the essential items that employers must provide to employees who work in conditions where heat stress is a danger to employee health and wellbeing. This includes the requirement that employers provide cool water for workers to drink, require workers to take breaks when heat stress is high, and provide a cool location where employees can take breaks and recover from the heat.

Force Majeure Events 

Shearman Definition: A force majeure event refers to the occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of a party and which prevents that party from performing its obligations under a contract.

Hazard Identification and Remediation 

Pennsylvania Department of General Services “Hazard Identification” Definition: The identification of hazards is a proactive means of reducing or preventing workplace accidents and injuries

US Bureau of Labor Statistics “Environmental remediation” Definition: Environmental remediation is the removal of pollution or contaminants from water (both ground water and surface water) and soil.

Living Wage 

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.

Operational Oversight 

Cambridge Dictionary Definition: Responsibility for a job or activity and for making sure it is being done correctly.

OSHA 300 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.

OSHA 3071 

Job Hazard Analysis Guide

OSHA Field Safety and Health Manual Appendix B Hazard Reporting and Incident Investigation Worksheet 

Linked here (pg 25)

OSHA’s 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)

Safety Monday 

Waste Recycling Definition: A relied upon source of weekly safety tips used as a tool by member companies as part of their safety awareness and training efforts.

Safety Summits 

A gathering of government, management, and labor to develop methods and solutions for the improvement of workplace safety. 

Slow Down to Get Around Information 

SWANA Definition: Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA) is a national safety campaign that reminds motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles.

SWANA’s 5 to Stay Alive 

SWANA Definition: SWANA has developed a safety campaign of five simple tips to help solid waste workers stay safe on the job.

  1. Always wear PPE, especially high visibility vests and/or outerwear
  2. Never use your cell phone while driving the truck or at a disposal facility
  3. Don’t ride on the step if the truck is BACKING or going more than 10mph or 1/5th mile
  4. Always comply with safety belt rules
  5. Don’t exceed the speed limit and don’t rush 
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