Safety Matters

April 22, 2021

New Head of OSHA Identified

President Biden has nominated Doug Parker to serve as administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Parker currently heads the Division of Occupational Safety and Health for the state of California. This position will require Senate confirmation before he can take on the role.

Parker has previously worked at the Mine Safety and Health Administration and was an attorney at the United Mine Workers of America. He was also a member of the Biden-Harris transition team.

If confirmed, Parker will be the first permanent OSHA Administrator since 2017. Among his first major projects will be addressing an emergency temporary standard for COVID-19. A decision on whether to issue the standard was to occur by March 15, but the Department of Labor has stated that it is still considering whether a standard is needed.

SWANA 2021 Safety Awards Now Accepting Submissions

SWANA is now is accepting submissions for its  2021 Safety Awards, including for a new category recognizing the best agency or company response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SWANA encourages public or private sector solid waste organizations to apply for consideration in one of three categories -  Best Safety InnovationBiggest Safety Improvement, or  COVID-19 Response.

There is no fee to enter, but the applicant must be a SWANA member. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, June 30 and winners will be recognized at WASTECON® 2021 in Orlando, Florida, November 1-3, 2021.

SWANA would like to thank this year’s award program sponsors,  CaterpillarNew WayPeterbilt, and  Safe Fleet

Accidents in the News

Through 3/31/21

Thousand Palms, CA – A 35-year-old pedestrian died after jumping into the path of a garbage truck on the interstate. MORE

Manteca, CA – Around 7:32 a.m., a solid waste vehicle struck a 56-year-old pedestrian under an overpass. MORE

Stafford, NY – A 73-year-old woman was killed in an intersection when she was struck on the driver side of her vehicle by a garbage truck. MORE

Hermosa, SD – A 56-year-old woman died after crashing her vehicle into the rear of a garbage truck making a right-hand turn off a highway. MORE

Oxford, MS – A man collided with a garbage truck around 7:45 a.m., killing himself and two children in the car. MORE

Conroe, TX – A motorcyclist died after attempting to pass a roll-off truck by using the shoulder while the truck was making a right-hand turn. MORE

Mansfield, LA – A truck unloading sand material at a landfill raised its bed to release its load and then rolled over onto another truck sitting next to it, killing the occupant. MORE

Pengilly, MN – A 32-year-old motorist died after crossing the centerline on a highway, striking a garbage truck head-on. MORE

Homer, GA – A pickup truck crossed the centerline and struck a roll-off truck head-on. The driver of the pickup truck was killed and the roll-off truck driver was in critical condition. MORE

Anchorage, AK – Just before dawn, a collection driver who was working by himself was struck and killed by his own truck. The driver exited the vehicle to address a garbage bin that the truck’s arm could not lift because it was frozen in place. After getting out of the vehicle, it began to slide on the ice. The extended arm knocked the victim over and he fell under the sliding truck. MORE

FAQ on Vaccine Reactions as a Recordable Event

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on recording workplace illnesses caused by COVID-19 vaccinations. This includes situations where the vaccine is required or recommended by the employer.

For more information about COVID -19 please visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage and OSHA's Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Upcoming Safety Events

Workers Memorial Day
April 28, 2021
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National Day of Mourning
April 28, 2021
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Safety and Health Week
May 2-8, 2021
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National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls
May 3 – 7, 2021
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International Roadcheck
May 4 – 6, 2021
North America
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Gold Rush Chapter Safety Webinar
May 14, 2021
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Heat Illness Prevention Campaign
May 22, 2021
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Safe+Sound Week
August 9-13, 2021
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