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Can We Improve Safety by Looking at Other Industries? 

11-17-2015 04:28 PM

Can We Improve Safety by Looking at Other Industries?
Deb Frye, National Technical Director, Solid Waste Facilities, HDR, Inc.

Tuesday, August 25
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

In looking at some specific programs, training sessions and standard procedures used in the railroad industry, we want to stir ideas that could be implemented to reduce accidents.

Do a quick internet search on “garbage truck hits” or “transfer station accident” and you will find numerous articles and related news stories like the :

- Fatal Accident Prompts Changes to Transfer Station
- Six Killed as Garbage Truck Hits Crowded Sidewalk
- Trash truck fatally strikes pedestrian Woman hit by garbage truck
- Garbage truck slams into home, building condemned
- City work killed by garbage truck
- Employee partially run over and killed at Material Recovery Facility

We as an industry keep saying we need to do better, but the waste industry has remained one of the top four dangerous jobs. We keep saying we have to stay safe, but the headlines and stats are not changing. Maybe we need to think about safety a little differently, and see if we can learn something from another dangerous industry that has succeeded in lowering its injury and fatal accidents – the railroad industry. Railroads have worked to improve the safety of their employees and also any contractors working on railroad property. Their approach changed the culture by not just raising awareness, but by also giving power to challenge and stop work when employees or contractors see unsafe situations. For the railroad industry, rail employee casualty rates are down 84 percent since 1980 and 48 percent since 2000 – this includes fatalities as well as injuries and occupational illnesses. (Sources: Association of American Railroads, U.S. Federal Railroad Administration). This presentation will review some of the key initiatives that the railroad industry has undertaken that may be worth considering for the waste industry. The railroad’s Golden Rule is: ALWAYS assume a train will come at any time, from either direction, on any track! When you are stopped at a crossing, do you just assume that once the train has cleared, it is safe to go? If you didn’t bother to check the other direction, you may have just been hit by a train coming on the other track. Should the waste industry have a similar Golden Rule that is ingrained in everyone’s mind? Railroads have annual and biannual training that reviews safety procedures – which are then implemented on a daily basis – or whenever you are on railroad property, which always includes a job briefing where the employee in charge is identified and reviews the work, and characteristics of the location, if any tracks will be impacted, and what on-track safety method will be applied, warning methods and designated gathering place. Also, each railroad employee and contractor working on the site is guaranteed the absolute right to challenge, in good faith, the safety procedures recommended. Each railroad employee or contractor needs to affirm they understand the job briefing and safety procedures for that project.

Top 3 things to learn:

- New ways to present safety training
- Ideas to change the culture
- Ways to increase awareness and responsibility

Deb Frye is a registered mechanical engineer and LEED AP with more than 24 years of experience in planning, siting, designing, permitting and construction of solid waste facilities and is HDR’s national technical director for solid waste facilities. In her projects, she has developed operation plans that increase efficiency of customer processing and material loadout. She has served as a project manager and design manager for projects from California to New York, up and down the coasts and across the Midwest. She has national experience in strategic planning, successful public involvement, siting, conceptual design, facility sizing, equipment operations, construction document development, permitting and construction assistance for transfer stations, material recovery facilities and supporting facilities including administration buildings, maintenance and fueling facilities, wash facilities and public drop-off facilities

Thank You to Our Sponsors
Gold Sponsors:
Insurance Office of America National Interstate Insurance Lytx AWTI/3rd Eye Mobile Vision Waste Connections
Safety Summit Supporter Sponsors:
Intelivert Tarpomatic/Southwestern Sales Brigade Electronics

#WASTECON #2015 #WASTECON2015Proceedings #Safety

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