Achieving Zero

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

A business’ greatest asset is its employees who “bring to life” the brand, product or service that an organization represents to its customers. Oftentimes, organizations forget that the very backbone of their business model is its people and how well they respond to production, quality and customer service at various times within the workday. When the focus is placed elsewhere, companies lose their edge and their ability to truly compete at a higher level. In fact, a lack of specific attention and focus on the wellbeing, safety and happiness of your employees can cost you more than lost opportunities and revenue. In order to protect your bottom line, you need to create a respectful, employee-centric work environment focused on protecting your employees.

As a business in the solid waste and recycling industry, you can make a positive impact on your employees and your company as a whole by addressing your safety beliefs and processes and developing a Zero Accident Culture® (ZAC). This concept will introduced shortly, but first, let’s set the stage by addressing the current safety conditions within the waste industry.

Injury Rates
According to the 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Waste Haulers/Refuse Collectors is the 7th most dangerous occupation, based off of incidence rates of injury and death, in the U.S. This industry has fluctuated in the unfavorable top 10 category for some time. With an increasing number of businesses, dwellings and vehicles in America, drivers and material movers are at increased risk of traffic-related accidents and/or being injured by their machinery.

What’s most unfortunate is that these injuries or deaths within the waste industry are completely unnecessary and are preventable through focused safety efforts. Something must be done—one waste hauler at a time—to create a safety culture that best represents your industry, your company, your employees and the families you go home to.

So what would it mean if waste industry businesses were no longer identified as one of the “Top Ten Most Dangerous”, but instead reduced the number of injuries and deaths year after year through a focus on safety?

  • Lower Workers’ Compensation costs
  • More competitive insurance rates and options
  • Reduced labor costs and increased profit margins
  • Improved productivity
  • Employer of choice and industry and organizational pride

It’s time to commit to creating a Zero Accident Culture within your business. Over the next few months, ideas will be offered as well as techniques and tactical implementation of the fundamental tenets of ZAC. To begin introducing you to the process, ZAC will be broken down into what it represents word for word.

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