September 1, 2015
WorkSafeNB announces a strategy today aimed at making New
Brunswick’s waste collection industry safer.
Safe Waste Collection is a two-year initiative designed to improve
safety culture and reduce the frequency and severity of injuries
for workers in the industry. Waste collection workers are three
times more likely to be hurt on the job than the average New
Brunswick worker. Since 2003, four waste collection workers have
died from workplace injuries.
“As we have done with other high-risk industries, WorkSafeNB is
focusing its efforts to help workers in waste collection,” said
Gerard Adams, president and CEO of WorkSafeNB. “Waste collectors
face risks daily. They have a difficult job. We are working with
employers and workers to ensure they have the resources and support
needed to reduce these risks.”
The Safe Waste Collection initiative has several
components: increased education; focused compliance
activities; recommendations to require safety policies and
procedures in the tendering process; and, public awareness and
Starting in September, WorkSafeNB consultants will meet waste
collection employers one-on-one throughout the province to help
them improve their health and safety practices.
“Every company will receive a visit,” Adams said.
Following this, health and safety officers will focus their
efforts on new employee orientation and training.
In spring 2016, WorkSafeNB will begin inspections of mobile
equipment and facilities of employers in the industry.
WorkSafeNB provides several tools at its Safety Excellence NB website
to help prepare workplaces. Included are checklists, pre-use and
post-use inspection lists, ergonomic guidelines and links to
WorkSafeNB will also recommend that safety policies and procedures
be required when awarding contracts.
“Like the construction industry, we want safety to be a priority
in the bidding process,” he said.
In spring 2016, a public awareness campaign will remind homeowners
that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Homeowners can help in many ways. For example, they can ensure
their garbage is within recommended weight limits and is free from
sharp objects. They can also ensure the end of their
driveway is free from tripping hazards.
“Your curbside is their workplace,” Adams said.
WorkSafeNB consulted New Brunswick private waste collection
companies, municipalities, regional service commissions and other
industry stakeholders for feedback on its planned strategy.
As part of its safety goal, WorkSafeNB regularly focuses on
reducing injuries in high-risk industries. In recent years,
WorkSafeNB has helped workers in nursing home, supermarket,
forestry and construction sectors.
To learn more about the waste collection industry, its risks and
WorkSafeNB’s Safe Waste Collection initiative, visit worksafenb.ca.
Safe Waste Collection is a two-year initiative designed to improve safety culture and reduce the frequency and severity of injuries for workers in the industry.