Summer of Safety

By Jim Olson, SVP of Safety, Republic Services
May 23, 2018 11:50 AM ET

School will soon be out for the summer, which means more children will be outside playing in their neighborhoods. The National Safety Council has declared June to be National Safety Month, and it’s the perfect time to talk about summer safety around recycling and waste collection trucks.

Children are naturally fascinated by our trucks, and how they work, but it is important to keep a safe distance and use common sense around large vehicles —not just during the summer, but year-round.

We care about the communities we serve, and ensuring the safety of our drivers and the local residents is always our top priority. Here are a few Summer Safety Tips to encourage safe habits around residential collection vehicles.

Six Summer Safety Tips

1. Recycling and waste collection trucks and other delivery or service vehicles keep regular schedules, so know your street’s collection days so that you are mindful of when these vehicles will be in your neighborhood.

2. Keep a safe distance from the truck – at least 15 feet. Never climb on the truck when it’s parked. Do not play or stand in or around waste and recycling containers.

3. Do not attempt or allow children to help with loading any materials into the collection truck. Leave it to the driver or his helper to handle.

4. Our collection trucks make frequent stops and often back-up. Whether you are walking or driving near one of our trucks, don’t follow the truck too closely. Stay alert and listen for the back-up alarm with the “beep-beep-beep” sound.

5. Our drivers are highly trained and alert at all times, however there are places where the visibility is restricted for our drivers. If you can’t see him or her in the mirror or window, they might not be able to see you either. Get to a place where the driver can see you.

6. It takes collection trucks about twice as long to stop as a passenger car, so never cut or stop suddenly in front of one. Always keep a safe distance from a truck. 

Due to the nature of our industry, we prioritize safety above all else. An exemplary safety track record helps ensure that every employee returns home at the end of the day. It also helps us attract the best drivers and technicians, and strengthens our relationships with the communities we serve.

Over the past 10 years, Republic’s safety performance, based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, has been 41 percent better than the industry average. Our Company’s Think. Choose. Live. safety slogan encapsulates our number one safety message to our employees: Think about what you are doing, Choose the safe answer, and Liveto go home to your family.

More tips to help keep our roads safer for pedestrians can be found on Together for Safer Road’s website.

Have a fun and safe summer!

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