Hot Tips for Keeping Our Communities – Especially Children – Safe

Jun 10, 2019 1:00 PM ET

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer, which means school is out and more kids are playing outside in their neighborhoods. We know our big blue trucks and our drivers have many young fans along their routes, so it’s especially important to keep everyone safe around our collection vehicles during this time of year

Safety is our top priority at Republic Services. Our truck cabs are equipped with cameras and other technology, but safety starts with our drivers. Drivers attend regular “safety huddles,” which remind the team about keeping themselves and the public safe. And before they head off on their routes, drivers walk the perimeter of their vehicle every day, making sure everything is working properly. 

Republic also runs a monthly safety training program called Focus Together, which includes videos and hands-on training. June’s Focus Together theme is safety while backing up. This is just part of what has made Republic Services’ safety performance 40% better than the industry average over the past 10 years. 

While our drivers are focused on safety, we want to help our neighbors be safe around our vehicles, too. Jim Olson, Republic’s senior vice president for safety, spearheads our Summer of Safety program, offering tips for the public as well as employees. Jim, who has more than 20 years of experience in safety and environmental compliance, is focused on leading Republic Services toward a sustainable safety culture. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, we’re tracking 101 days of summer safety. 

Republic’s Summer of Safety tips
1. Know Your Collection Day.  
You know your trash and recycling collection day. But do your children? Remind them before they leave the house that collection vehicles will be on the streets and to look both ways before setting off on bikes or chasing a ball. 
2. Watch from Afar. 
It can be fun for kids to watch their trash and recycling containers get picked up, but it’s best to do it from your front window or driveway. Furthermore, kids should never try to help load trucks or climb on them, even when they’re parked. Leave the heavy lifting to your driver. 

3. Give Trucks Space. 
Our collection trucks make frequent stops and often back up. When walking or driving near one of our trucks, don’t follow the truck too closely. Stay alert and listen for the backup alarm with the “beep-beep-beep” sound. Also, remember that it takes a collection vehicle twice as much distance to stop as a regular car. 

4. Make Yourself Visible.  
Not sure if the driver can see you? Wave first, and wait until they acknowledge you before crossing in front or behind them. If you can’t see your driver’s mirrors, they probably can’t see you. 

Learn more about Republic Services’ commitment to safety.