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OSHA Aligns with Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

By Jordy Byrd

workers at recycling processing facility

While recycling is good for the environment, it can be dangerous for workers. Employees in the recycling industry have high injury and illness rates, experiencing sprains and strains, cuts, needlestick injuries, and chemical exposure.

OSHA is on the case. The agency formed a new alliance with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) this October to protect the safety and health of workers in the scrap recycling industry. The two-year alliance will focus on mitigating workplace hazards associated with powered industrial trucks and other machinery, chemical exposures, hazardous energy sources, and the handling and storage of materials.

“These hazards can result in serious injuries and death for workers in the scrap recycling industry,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels. “We are pleased to partner with ISRI in developing effective tools to control or eliminate safety and health hazards in this industry.”

Both agencies will collaborate to create and revise informational and training resources, encourage the use of safety and health management systems, and promote OSHA’s compliance assistance resources.

ISRI is a trade association representing more than 1,600 member companies including manufacturers, processors, brokers, and industrial consumers of scrap commodities such as paper, rubber, plastics, glass, and metals. Members range from small businesses to multi-national corporations.

Recycling Safety Resources

Graphic Products offers various, complimentary training resources, including a Hazardous Waste Management Guide for the storage and handling of dangerous materials, and a Lockout/Tagout Guide which outlines safety procedures when working with machinery and hazardous energy sources. The Warehouse Safety Hazards & Solutions Guide outlines safety best practices, particularly where workers face hazards from powered industrial trucks and chemicals.