In what amounts to an amazing safety accomplishment, Waste Management of DeKalb said its employees have worked for three years without experiencing a single recordable injury.
The feat was marked with a safety celebration among drivers, fleet technicians, dispatchers, managers and other employees at the Company's location at 115 Simonds Avenue, DeKalb.
In contrast to the business's performance, the waste industry's average total recordable injury rate (TRIR), the standard set by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is 6.4 injuries per 100 employees annually.
Company officials estimated that the safety milestone included roughly 16,692,000 waste and recyclable collection stops at customer locations in DeKalb County.
Waste Management's DeKalb drivers collect about 6,000 tons of solid waste a month and 900 tons of recyclables. Over the three-year period, that totals nearly 1.3 million tons of trash and more than 32 thousand tons of recyclables.
"Safety is a critical part of our culture and it's why our emphasis on safety is so important," said Bill Cole, president of Waste Management Safety Services. "We want our employees to perform their jobs in a way that protects them and gets them home to their families at the end of each day.
Safety requires the commitment and effort of each and every employee each day, every day. That is what our people in DeKalb do and it is why they have reached this remarkable milestone."
"The safety of our employees and the general public is a primary emphasis for all employees," said Waste Management Manager Jay Ruby. "The drivers attend weekly safety meetings as well as daily safety briefings and are encouraged to identify potential safety issues. Our daily tailgate meetings keep drivers informed, identify problems, and anticipate anything that might present safe driving concerns," he said.
Driving safely, following best safety practices and being alert are critical to safety performance, he said. "We want them to identify issues and give us their ideas on safety. It works pretty well," he said.
Waste Management's DeKalb County operations include 33 waste collection drivers, three fleet technicians, a dispatcher, a route manager and others who serve approximately 35,000 residents, 1,900 commercial customers and 100 industrial accounts. In addition to DeKalb, the Company serves Fairdale, Genoa, Hampshire, Hinckley, Kingston, Kaneville, Kirkland, Malta, Maple Park, Sycamore and unincorporated Yorkville.