With more than two decades of direct solid waste industry experience, Maggie Warren is SWANA Pacific Chapter’s new Safety Ambassador.

Maggie’s 25 years of experience includes supervising transfer station and front end landfill operations, participating in SWANA’s Managing Transfer Station Systems course as a trainer and always advocating for improved health and safety for facility staff and customers.

SWANA Safety

November 2017 Update

In 2016, SWANA recognized the need for a greater emphasis on safety due to the waste industry’s never-ending stream of accidents, injuries and fatalities. Whether a large or two truck hauler, US or Canadian, private or public, waste or recycling facility, SWANA is looking for ways to ensure every worker gets home at the end of their day.

Part of SWANA’s growing safety program is developing resources to educate its members. At https://swana.org/safety.aspx there are quick links to Backing Best Practices for collections, 5 to Stay Alive tips for operations and collections workers and Slow Down to Get Around sticker distribution for collection vehicles, to name a few.

One of the main resources is the 5 to Stay Alive safety campaign of 5 simple tips to help solid waste workers stay safe on the job. SWANA asks waste industry professionals to use these resources to create a positive safety culture in their workplace.

5 to Stay Alive are specialized for workers based on job function and location and include:

  • Composting Operations
  • Material Recovery Facilities
  • Transfer Stations
  • Collection Employees
  • Landfill Employees

Other safety initiatives include: Safety Monday, a member-only weekly one-page safety newsletter distributed by SWANA each Monday; Needlestick Survey, a survey on needle stick incidences at material recovery facilities and Natural Gas Vehicle Safety, a whitepaper providing basic knowledge about natural gas, safety parameters and recommendations for proper maintenance and operation of natural gas vehicles.

SWANA has a goal to improve worker safety however; it will take employer, supervisor and worker participation to achieve real change. Check out SWANA Safety Matters, https://swana.org/safety.aspx, get familiar with the numerous resources and spread the word. Collectively we can improve the solid waste industry safety culture.


Maggie Warren
Safety Ambassador
SWANA Pacific – BC & Yukon

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