It’s no secret that safety is a top priority at Granger. Our goal is for every associate to return safely to their families after each day’s work. We do our best to equip them with the tools to perform their jobs safely every day and then send them out into the world to use these tools wisely. And inevitably, they make us proud.
Safety is important in any line of work, but when your job puts you in contact with the public, you must think about the safety of everyone you encounter. Here are just a few of the ways we’re helping keep Granger associates and the public safe.
- We train. Education is the first step for any position here at Granger. There’s a lot of training that goes into being a garbage man or woman, whether you’re driving a truck, working as a mechanic, operating landfill or recycling equipment or operating one of our renewable energy facilities. All Granger workers receive required training on general safety topics, as well as training specific to their jobs and the equipment they use each day. Smith System driver training, a program used nationally to train drivers in collision avoidance with a combination of classroom and on-the-road instruction, is provided to our drivers. Waste acceptance training, which teaches associates how to spot hazardous items in the trash, is updated with drivers, helpers and landfill associates on an annual basis. Associates in our Energy Services division receive training specific to the hazards associated with electricity. And associates from all areas of the company are trained in CPR and AED operation. So as you can tell, we try to cover everything.
- We communicate. One of the best ways we can learn is by sharing our knowledge with one another. Granger has recently started a new program called “Trash Talks.” These are associate-led safety meetings which are held once a week on a particular topic. The drivers meet in small groups and share their experiences with one another, facilitated by a group leader who is one of their peers. In this way, drivers can help each other be safe. Additionally, Granger investigates almost every incident and event things that didn’t happen (but almost did). Reviewing the small things and event the “almosts” can help prevent big accidents from happening in the future. Open dialogue with our associates is one of the best ways to increase awareness and decrease complacency.
- We use personal protective equipment (PPE). This equipment runs the gamut from high visibility clothing, such as safety vests, to hearing (earplugs or earmuffs) and eye protection (safety glasses) to steel-toed boots to specialized items like fall protection harnesses and respirators. These items help us be seen out on the road and in the landfill and prevent injury in our mechanic shop and renewable energy generating stations. Sometimes they even make us look cool.
- We observe. Driver supervisors spend time observing our trucks on route to make sure drivers are practicing safe behaviors. We also have access to technology that allows us to observe even more, such as instruments that track and record the speed of our trucks and in-cab and facility cameras that allow us to ensure safe behavior is being used in all locations. (The clip above is real-life footage from an in-cab camera. The driver in this example is demonstrating correct safety skills, which means this clip is valuable for training purposes.)
- We reward safe behavior. Everyone likes a nice pat on the back and the feeling that they are appreciated, right? Well at Granger, we think there’s no more important behavior to give kudos for than safety. That’s why all field associates (drivers, landfill and recycling center equipment operators, mechanics and operations technicians) are part of a safety incentive program. We recognize associates for each calendar year of safety and provide rewards at milestone years (cool Granger jacket, anyone?). Earlier this year, we recognized 167 Granger associates who had a safe year in 2015. And of those 167, 12 of our associates had 20+ safe years! Those associates have clearly made safety a huge priority.
If you’ve ever seen Granger associates practicing safe behavior, please help us reward them by letting us know with kudos on our contact page!
If you liked this blog post, check out June is National Safety Month: Slow Down to Get Around.