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SWACO is proud to celebrate a nationally recognized safety initiative that encourages and advocates for stronger safety practices on the road to protect our community’s valued waste haulers and collection workers. Solid waste collection is the sixth deadliest job in the United States, making it an even more dangerous occupation than first responders. In fact, on average, one collection worker dies every 1.5 weeks in the U.S., with numbers increasing each year since 2009.
In partnership with the Solid Waste Association of North America and local waste and recycling haulers, a series of safety outreach events are being held between June 21-23 at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill and SWACO Transfer Stations during which waste haulers and landfill and transfer station operators will be invited to take the Safety Pledge. The pledge is a way for employees in the industry to commit to protecting themselves and others from harm, with the promise of helping “everyone get home safe every single day.”
“Our community’s waste haulers and recycling workers are essential and highly valued members of our community whose jobs play a critical role each day in our ability to safety and efficiently manage waste across Franklin County,” said Scott Perry, Director of Operations and Maintenance for SWACO and a member of the SWANA Board of Directors. “We are proud that SWACO leads the way in both service and safety, but we implore the public to exercise caution on the road as a way to show that we all care about and value these important members of our community. As SWANA says, everyone deserves to go home safely from their job at the end of the day.”
Specifically, SWACO encourages drivers to slow down or move over when approaching or preparing to pass a waste hauling truck, whether they’re in transit or in the process of collection. These vehicles, which include SWACO’s recycling trucks, often have to operate big equipment in tight spaces. As always, motorists should proceed with caution when going through a construction zone, or even when passing a public safety vehicle stopped alongside of the road.
“Our employees are our best asset and we make their safety our highest priority,” said Joe Huston, SWACO’s Safety Manager. “We’re pleased to have a very low incidence of accidents involving our employees and credit that to their commitment to keeping one another safe as well as the on-going regular training they receive. We encourage the public to exercise caution when approaching SWACO or any other waste or recycling hauling vehicle.”
To access additional media assets, including b-roll from a 2019 accident involving a SWACO truck, click here.