Tom Parker, former SWANA Safety Committee Chair (left) and SWANA President & CEO David Biderman (right) present the City of San Antonio with the 2019 Best Safety Innovation Award.
The 2019 winners received their trophies at WASTECON® 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The presentation ceremony occurred on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center.
As a department consisting of 725 municipal employees with a constant high-risk exposure and serving more than 355,000 households weekly, the City of San Antonio, Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) was selected by its City Manager to fully implement a Safety Management System (SMS) that challenged convention, created synergy, and engaged employees at all levels and functions. These efforts reduced accidents by 47 percent and injuries by 50 percent, with a lost work day rate reduction of 28 percent.
In 2018, Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) improved and increased its Live Safety principle messaging to employees, their friends and family and the communities it services, reducing incidents by over 50 percent from the previous year. Through constant communication every month regarding different safety topics that every person can relate to, LRS was able to educate and communicate the importance of safety to not only employees but the general public as well.
After an eye-opening voluntary OSHA inspection, the City of Casper Regional Landfill realized that injury and accident numbers did not necessarily equate to safe working conditions. The focus shifted from “don’t get hurt” to “let’s eliminate the potential for harm,” resulting in a major change to the safety culture.