NC SWANA Safety Ambassador



51 Fatalities have occurred to date in 2017 associated with our industry.

Fatalities are higher than in 2016 and cause for serious concern.  While many involved private citizens we usually own a part of the responsibility in collisions and site mishaps.  Running through procedures regularly and maintaining daily communications with operators assists in combatting unsafe aspects of our jobs when appropriate actions are taken. 

When equipment operators follow industry standards and employer prescribed lockout-tagout (LOTO) procedures accidents and associated fatalities decrease.  I implore you to ensure they are thoroughly understood and used.

Each employer must evaluate and establish LOTO procedures for their specific equipment.  Cleaning behind the blade procedures for collection vehicles are not limited to but should include:

  • Emptying vehicle prior

  • Eliminating stored energy

  • Turning off ignition

  • Placing keys in pocket

  • Turning battery disconnect off

  • Using lockout-tagout device(s) identifiable to operator

Residential vehicle riding step safety tips:

  • Only use riding steps located behind rear wheels

  • Use 4 points of contact and face forward while in motion

  • Hold on with hands, never loop arms through handholds

  • Never ride steps while backing

  • Never ride on steps beyond 1/5th of a mile or at speeds greater than 10 mph

 More safety resources are readily available at




John Pfleger

NC SWANA Safety Ambassador


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